By William Covington
Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Director, Technology Law & Public Policy Clinic

Professor Said outside William H. Gates Hall.

Every lawyer is a potential change agent.

Black lawyers have changed the make-up of the United States Senate, put the issues of reparations before Congress and successfully reduced policing budgets, repurposing those funds for anti-racism work.

Equally important, Black lawyers are working in communities aiding in organizing, fighting gentrification, and advocating for educational equity. Whether in legislative bodies, the court system, the workplace or the community, those with legal training are helping us move toward an equitable and anti-racist society.

Legal education is being incentivized to change by Black legal scholars and Black students. Examining the law through a critical social justice lens, finding ways to eliminate inequity, and teaching with an emphasis on anti-racism are gaining traction. We need to take the time to examine who we are as an institution, who we are as attorneys, and what we are doing and will do.

The UW Law community celebrates the successes that Black lawyers and law students have and continue to bring about. We are inspired by the work of UW Law graduates and students whose stories are to be presented this month. Black Lawyers Matter*.

*The slogan “Black Lawyers Matter” was developed by Yolanda Young of the Lawyers of Color Foundation

William Covington is associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion; director of the Technology Law & Public Policy Clinic; and associate teaching professor at the University of Washington School of Law. A graduate of New York University and the University of Michigan School of Law, Covington has spent over 25 years working in technology-driven fields. He is a founding board member of the Washington State Bar Association’s Limited License Legal Technician program, and in 2013, he received the Dean’s Medal for Service.