Three new professors have joined the UDC Law faculty this fall. Ieshaah Murphy is an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Law Clinic, Yvette Pappoe joins the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law and Sakinah Tillman takes on the Tax Clinic as Assistant Professor and Director.
Meet the newest members of the UDC Law faculty:
Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Law Clinic
Under Professor Ieshaah Murphy’s leadership, the Criminal Law Clinic will combat mass incarceration and racial injustice in the criminal legal system through direct representation, community engagement and strategic action. Professor Murphy’s teaching and scholarly interests focus on criminal law and procedure, racial disparities in the criminal legal system and indigent defense reform.
Prior to joining UDC Law, Professor Murphy practiced as a civil rights attorney and public defender. Most recently, she was a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Maryland, focusing on racial justice and criminal legal system transformation. Professor Murphy also worked for over eight years as a trial attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), where she represented hundreds of indigent children and adults charged with serious offenses. She supervised attorneys and co-founded the agency’s annual week-long defender training program for law students from historically excluded communities while at PDS.
Professor Murphy frequently trains lawyers and law students on various topics related to criminal defense and trial advocacy. She is teaching faculty for the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop and previously served as an adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law and the George Washington University Law School. She has also served as teaching faculty for the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC), the Deborah T. Creek Criminal Practice Institute (CPI), the Wisconsin State Public Defender Trial Skills Academy and several other defender training programs.
Professor Murphy is a founding member of the Black Public Defender Association (BPDA), where she develops and leads race equity trainings at defender offices around the country. Professor Murphy has a longstanding commitment to advocating for those impacted by the criminal legal system. While in law school, she defended indigent people accused of crimes as a student attorney in the Criminal Justice Institute, represented incarcerated people in prison disciplinary hearings as a member of the Prison Legal Assistance Project and held summer clerkships at the Southern Center for Human Rights and the Bronx Defenders.
Originally from Buffalo, Professor Murphy earned her B.A. in Sociology, Phi Beta Kappa, from Spelman College, where she was a Gates Millennium Scholar, Dean’s Scholar and valedictorian. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she won several awards for excellence in trial advocacy.
Professor Murphy is licensed to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Assistant Professor of Law
Professor Yvette Pappoe writes on anti-discrimination law with a focus on the intersection of race and gender and how the legal system tackles those complexities in administering justice. Professor Pappoe’s scholarship examines the ways in which historically disadvantaged minority groups are impacted by existing social and legal structures. Her most recent article, “The Shortcomings of Title VII for the Black Female Plaintiff,” published in the University of Pennsylvania’s Journal of Law and Social Change, examines existing social and legal regimes to analyze how they disadvantage minority groups with a focus on Black women and nondiscrimination jurisprudence in the employment context. Professor Pappoe teaches Torts, Advanced Torts and Professional Responsibility.
After law school, Professor Pappoe clerked for the Honorable Douglas R. M. Nazarian on the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland and practiced civil litigation in the Products Liability & Mass Torts Group at Miles & Stockbridge, P.C. She has received several awards and accolades for her commitment to excellence, scholarship and the community, including the Elizabeth Maxwell Carroll Chestnut Prize at University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Law Student of the Year by the National Jurist and “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Black Lawyers Association. Prior to joining UDC Law, Professor Pappoe served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at her alma mater, the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where she taught Torts and Critical Race Theory. She was selected “Professor of the Year” by the Black Law Students Association.
Professor Pappoe earned a B.A., magna cum laude, in Sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and a J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
She is admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Tax Clinic
Professor Sakinah Tillman is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. She directs the Tax Clinic. Her scholarly research focuses on tax administration, tax policy and poverty law.
Prior to joining the faculty at UDC, Professor Tillman was a Clinical Fellow at the University of Baltimore School of Law, Low-Income Taxpayer’s Clinic. Student attorneys practiced under her supervision to represent low-income clients before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and in the federal tax litigation in U.S. Tax Court.
She has worked in several tax law firms where she has represented numerous clients in matters before the IRS. Professor Tillman was a senior state and local tax associate at RSM US, LLP, where she represented clients on technical state and local tax issues; prepared complex returns on behalf of partnerships and S corporations and wrote memoranda, matrices and other client deliverables.
During law school, she received the Distinguished Student Award from the Student Bar Association. She also received the Donald A. Thigpen Rising Star Award from the Washington Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, which is awarded to an attorney who has made great contributions to the legal profession and to the Washington Bar Association during an attorney’s first year of practice.
Professor Tillman received a B.A. from Bloomsburg University, J.D. from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School and L.L.M from University of Baltimore School of Law.
She is the Secretary of the Washington Bar Association, Inc.