Faith Rivers James, associate dean for experiential learning and leadership, and professor of law
(336) 279-9332, frivers@elon.edu

Faith Rivers James teaches Legislation, Nonprofit Organizations, Property, and Public Law & Leadership, a course she created at Elon Law. Previously, Rivers James taught at Vermont Law School, where she was a member of the Environmental faculty and fellow of the Land Use Institute. She began her law teaching career as a Visiting Assistant Professor at University of South Carolina School of Law in 2005 and taught in the master’s in public administration program from 1999 to 2002.

Rivers James began practicing as a legislative attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP. She entered public service to serve as Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor to the Majority Leader of the United States Congress, and later served as Executive Director of the South Carolina Bar Foundation. In that post, Rivers James authored the South Carolina Supreme Court rule that converted the state’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program into a comprehensive program that exponentially increased revenues that the Bar Foundation invests in law-related programs.

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Rivers James has done extensive research on preservation of African American property ownership. She was instrumental in the creation of the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation in Charleston, for which the South Carolina Bar Foundation received the National Conference of Bar Foundations Award for Excellence in Programming in 2004. Rivers James served on the American Bar Association’s Property Preservation Task Force from 2006-2007. Most recently, she co-authored a chapter about the saga of heirs’ property in the Carolina Lowcountry in Breakthrough Communities: Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis, from MIT Press.

Rivers James received a bachelor’s degree in government and sociology from Dartmouth College (1987) and a Juris Doctorate from the Harvard Law School (1990). She is a member of the South Carolina Bar, the District of Columbia Bar, and the North Carolina Bar Association, where she serves on the Citizen Lawyer Committee and the Real Property Section’s Legislative Committee.

Recent news:

Faith Rivers James publishes “Leadership and Social Justice Lawyering”

Elon Law professor and alumnus author article about engaging nonprofits in legal education

Faith Rivers James article on leadership education in law schools published in Saint Louis University Public Law Review

Faith Rivers James and Margaret Kantlehner present at national conference on externships

Faith Rivers James presents at annual symposia of the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law

Faith Rivers James participates in Association of Leadership Educators conference

Faith Rivers James participates in education leadership roundtable at Santa Clara Law

Faith Rivers James delivers keynote address at SC Master-in-Equity Judge’s Association Annual Meeting

Faith Rivers James publishes book chapter on African American property ownership

Faith Rivers James presents research on Heirs’ Property at S.C. Black Lawyers Association Conference

Seven members of Elon Law’s faculty present at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools 2009 Conference

Faith Rivers James publishes article on diversity in environmental nonprofits

Law students assist local nonprofits in winter course

Related links:

Leadership program