Assistant Professor Tiffany Atkins L'11 shared insights into the power of representation as the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States.
An Elon Law professor who encourages students to use their passion for advocacy to contribute to public dialogue on current events has shared her views on the importance of representation in a column for USA TODAY.
The national daily newspaper published “Clair Huxtable was my guiding light’: How Ketanji Brown Jackson will inspire a generation” by Assistant Professor Tiffany Atkins L’11 to its website on the afternoon of April 4, 2022.
“Jackson is part of the 4.7% of Black lawyers in the United States,” Atkins writes. “She is also part of an even smaller sisterhood of Black women who serve as federal judges. Her nomination to the Supreme Court is monumental and represents so much to current and future lawyers as well as the public. It opens the field of vision for what’s possible for Black girls and women as well as other members of historically excluded groups.
“… To be clear, Jackson’s nomination isn’t noteworthy only because of her race and gender – it is more noteworthy because of them. She is a brilliant attorney with impressive academic credentials and a strong judicial record, and she is highly respected by other jurists, including Justice Stephen Breyer, whose seat she will fill if confirmed.”
Atkins, recently promoted to associate professor beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year, graduated from Elon Law in 2011 as the recipient of the David Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism. She taught in the Legal Method & Communication Program from 2016-2018, then spent a year at Wake Law’s Legal Analysis, Writing and Research program before rejoining the Elon Law faculty.
She is a member of the law school’s Antiracism Working Group and the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers, a community of law teachers, law school administrators, librarians, academic support experts, students and affiliates “working for more than 40 years to improve the legal profession, the law academy and expand the power of law to under-served communities.”
Prior to her entry into legal education, Atkins worked for several years in Greensboro at Legal Aid of North Carolina. She is a graduate of UNC Greensboro’s Political Science and African-American Studies programs.