Debo Adegbile

The UDC David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law) is excited to announce that Debo Adegbile will serve as the 2019-2020 Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Civil Rights. Adegbile is a member of the Government and Regulatory Litigation group at WilmerHale. He was chosen as the newest Rauh Chair for his wealth of legal knowledge and community involvement, including arguing cases before the Supreme Court, working as senior counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee and serving in leadership at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), Inc. As the 2019-2020 Rauh Chair, Adegbile will use his extensive experience to work with students and faculty to advance UDC Law’s commitment to the public interest.

Adegbile currently practices at the intersection of law, business and government policy. He co-chairs WilmerHale’s Anti-Discrimination Practice. In 2016, Adegbile was appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights by President Obama. He has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, and he frequently speaks on issues related to the Supreme Court and anti-discrimination law.

Before joining WilmerHale, Adegbile practiced at a leading New York firm, advised Senator Patrick Leahy as senior counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee and worked with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), Inc. in a variety of leadership roles, including as acting president and director counsel in 2012 and 2013. Adegbile has twice argued before the Supreme Court, in Shelby County v. Holder and Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder.

The Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Endowed Chair is a living and working memorial. The Chair ensures UDC Law can attract the most gifted and experienced public interest lawyer and educator – one committed to excellence in legal education and to the reality of equality under the law – to become a member of and ambassador for our law school community. In addition to teaching, the Rauh Chair sets an example for students by practicing law in the public interest, working on pertinent issues, taking part in public forums and engaging with students. The inspiration provided by the Rauh Chair and the skills and values fostered by the David A. Clarke School of Law will ensure that the next generation’s preeminent public interest lawyers can emerge. The first Rauh Chair was Wade Henderson, the former Executive Director of the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights Under Law.

The Rauh Chair was funded by donations from hundreds of people over a three-year period. An honorary board tasked with overseeing the endowed chair was comprised of family and friends of Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., including Supreme Court justices and other industry leaders.

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