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Mon, 12.17.1962

Sherrilyn Ifill, Attorney born

Sherrilyn Ifill

*Sherrilyn Ifill was born on this date in 1962.  is a Black lawyer, author and non-profit administrator.   

From New York City, her family immigrated to the U.S. from Barbados; she is the cousin to former PBS journalist Gwen Ifill; with fathers, who were brothers, both becoming African Methodist Episcopal ministers.  Ifill received her B.A. degree from Vassar College and her J.D. degree from New York University School of Law.  

Ifill had served as assistant counsel at the Legal Defense Fund, litigating Voting Rights Act cases including the landmark Houston Lawyers' Association v. Attorney General of Texas.  Her first job out of law school was a one-year fellowship with the ACLU in New York.  In 1993, she joined the faculty of the University of Maryland Law School, where she taught for two decades. She is the author of On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century, a 2008 finalist for Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction.  

In 2016, Ifill won the Society of American Law Teachers Great Teacher Award. She is a law professor and president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, (LDF). She is the Legal Defense Fund's seventh president.  Ifill is also a nationally recognized expert on voting rights and judicial selection.  Ifill regularly appears in the media for her expertise on topics like affirmative action, policing, judicial nominees and the Supreme Court.   

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