Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

[LSAD & CDO] Judge Wilkins (D.C. Cir.) Book Talk: “My Family’s Journey from Slave to Citizen”

Thursday, March 3, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Judge Wilkins
Photo provided by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, photographer Doug Kapustin. 
LSAD & CDO welcome Judge Robert L. Wilkins of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to campus to speak about his forthcoming book.  At the intersection of Judge Wilkins’ interests in genealogy, Black history and justice, the judge will share his personal, multi-decade hunt to discover details of the lives of my enslaved ancestors and how they fought for freedom and citizenship.  Judge Wilkins focuses on Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, the home of his fourth great-grandmother, whose life spanned from the tenure of James Madison to that of Teddy Roosevelt.  The constitution and laws changed greatly during that time, and using court records discovered in the archives, Judge Wilkins explore how those changes impacted his ancestors and other enslaved people in the county.
A native of Muncie, Indiana, Judge Wilkins obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1986 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1989.  Following law school, Judge Wilkins served as a law clerk to the Honorable Earl B. Gilliam of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.  In 1990, he joined the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where he served first as a staff attorney in the trial and appellate divisions and later for several years as Special Litigation Chief.  In 2002, he joined the law firm of Venable LLP as a partner, handling white-collar defense, intellectual property, and complex civil litigation matters.  During his tenure with the Public Defender Service and in private practice, Judge Wilkins served as the lead plaintiff in Wilkins, et al. v. State of Maryland, a landmark civil rights lawsuit that inspired nationwide legislative and executive reform of police stop-and-search practices and the collection of data regarding those practices.  On December 27, 2010, Judge Wilkins was appointed United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, where he served until his appointment to the D.C. Circuit.


Thursday, March 3, 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:



Career Development Office
Law Students of African Descent (LSAD)

Events are wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, contact the organizer of the event. Advance notice is kindly requested.

Interested in subscribing to a weekly email digest of Berkeley Law events? Learn more here.