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Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Appoints Howard Law Dean Board Co-Chair

Dean Danielle R. Holley

WASHINGTON – Howard University School of Law Dean Danielle R. Holley has been named co-chair on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Holley shares the seat with Joe West of Duane Morris LLP.

“I am honored to begin my term as co-chair of the Board of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights,” Holley said. “At this critical time, when we must fight for voting rights, equity in education, the health of our democracy, environmental justice, and reproductive health and freedom, and so many other important issues, we need the work of LCCRUL more than ever.”

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law was created at the request of President John F. Kennedy in the Summer of 1963 following a meeting of 244 lawyers in the East Room of the White House. President Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy spoke at the conference and urged the lawyers to use their training and influence to move the struggle for the protection of civil rights from the streets to the courts. The 244 lawyers who attended were from throughout the United States and included leaders of state bars and the ABA and 50 African American lawyers. President Kennedy had held similar meetings with representatives of business, education and the clergy, but the decision to call a meeting with the lawyers and the timing of the meeting was born of a sense of urgency about the absence of the organized bar in the civil rights movement.

In her new capacity with the Lawyers’ Committee, Holley will work with the board’s executive committee on the governance and oversight of the organization and support President and Executive Director Damon Hewitt as he works to further the mission of the Lawyers’ Committee.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dean Holley as our new board co-chair,” said Hewitt. “Her legal expertise, management experience, and visionary leadership will be of tremendous value to our organization as we build for the future. In addition, her deep knowledge and scholarship on educational equity issues will provide a critical perspective as we continue our work to defend truthful curriculum K-12 schools and diversity in higher education, including our participation in the pending Supreme Court cases on affirmative action. I look forward to working alongside Dean Holley to strengthen the impact the Lawyers’ Committee has in defending – and expanding – these and other hallmarks of our democracy.”

Holley is a scholar of education law and civil rights and an expert on diversity in the legal profession and higher education. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and she was a law clerk to Judge Carl E. Stewart on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Dean Holley joined Howard University School of Law in 2014 as the dean and a professor of law. She teaches a wide variety of classes, including legislation and regulation, inequality and education, civil procedure, administrative law, federal courts, and leadership for lawyers. Her scholarship focuses on the governance of public schools, increasing access to higher education, and diversity in the legal profession.

Holley has won numerous awards, including the inaugural Impact Award from the Association of American Law Schools, the American Bar Foundation’s Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowship Distinguished Alumni Award, the Lutie Lytle Conference Outstanding Scholar Award, the National Bar Association’s Heman Sweatt Award, and the University of South Carolina Educational Foundation’s Outstanding Service Award. She was twice awarded the Outstanding Faculty Member award during her tenure at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

For a list of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s full board, click here.


About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

About Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org

Media Contact: Raneeka Witty; raneeka.witty@law.howard.edu