Latest Voting Rights Institute to Train New Generation of Voting Rights Lawyers at Georgetown Law



On September 25, 2015, the Voting Rights Institute, a joint project of the Campaign Legal Center and American Constitution Society (ACS), and Georgetown University Law Center will conduct a voting rights training session at its new permanent home at Georgetown Law in Washington, DC.  The ongoing Institute training sessions are helping to help meet the critical need for a new generation of voting rights lawyers, experts, and community activists. At the session, practitioners and law students will learn the ‘ins and outs’ of protecting the right to vote through the enforcement of voting rights laws.  A particular focus of the training will be cases brought to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and voting cases currently pending in the U.S. Supreme Court.  The training program will feature a panel of instructors with decades of experience in the field of voting rights.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in the Shelby County case has left the burden of protecting voting rights to individuals and those few groups who may be able to assist them,” said J. Gerald Hebert, Executive Director of the Campaign Legal Center.  “Such a burden, with its attendant costs and need for expertise, is overwhelming and has opened the door to unchecked and rampant discrimination.   The only solution, short of reversing this decision, is to arm lawyers and citizens with the tools to challenge discriminatory practices and to support them through the inevitable litigation that follows.” 

Experts in the field will provide background on the Voting Rights Act and relevant federal court cases to participants and will then focus on their experiences in voting rights cases.  Campaign Legal Center Executive Director, J. Gerald Hebert, will serve as lead instructor and will be joined by several veteran voting rights litigators and advocates.

In addition to Mr. Hebert, the Institute’s faculty will include: Paul M. Smith (Partner, Jenner & Block), Anita Earls (Executive Director, Southern Coalition for Social Justice), Julie Fernandes, (Open Society Foundations), Chad Dunn (Brazil & Dunn) and Jessica Ring Amunson (Partner, Jenner & Block).

The official announcement of the Voting Rights Institute’s new home at Georgetown Law will be made at an event at the National Press Club on October 2.

“We wanted to establish a Voting Rights Institute devoted to one of the most important issues of our time, voting rights for all Americans,” Hebert said of the new home of the Voting Rights Institute.  “Georgetown University Law Center was the perfect location for the Institute because it possesses a well-deserved reputation for academic excellence and is a place where we can focus nonpartisan analysis and constructive engagement on the right to vote, while training the next generation of lawyers and leaders.”

Financial support for the Voting Rights Institute has been received from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund (, Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Wallace Global Fund.  

For more details on, or to RSVP for, the Washington, DC training, click here.