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Traphagen Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series with Verna Williams J.D. ’88 of Equal Justice Works

February 22, 2024

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

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WCC; 2036 Milstein East A

The HLS Alumni Center presents a lunchtime talk with Verna Williams J.D. ’88. This event is part of the Traphagen Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series, where HLS alumni speak informally about their careers.


Verna Williams (she/her) is the CEO of Equal Justice Works. In her role as CEO, Verna advances the mission of Equal Justice Works to create opportunities for leaders to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service.

Verna brings with her an extensive background of experience teaching and practicing law, as well as researching civil and women’s rights. Verna previously served as the dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where she was a professor prior to becoming dean, and taught courses on family law, gender discrimination, and constitutional law. Additionally, she founded and co-directed the Judge Nathaniel Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice at the University of Cincinnati.

Before her work at the University of Cincinnati, Verna was the vice president and director of educational opportunities at the National Women’s Law Center, where she focused on gender equity in education. In this role, she was the lead counsel and successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, which established that educational institutions have a duty to respond to and address complaints of student-to-student sexual harassment.

Verna clerked for the Honorable David S. Nelson, U.S. District Judge for the District of Massachusetts. After the clerkship, she practiced law at Sidley Austin LLP and the U.S. Department of Justice.


Lunch will be served. All HLS students are welcome. Please register in advance as space is limited. Click to register.

Learn more about the Traphagen Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series



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February 22, 2024, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

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