Sherrilyn Ifill

Sherrilyn Ifill is a civil rights lawyer and scholar who recently stepped down after 10 years in leadership as the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the nation’s premier civil rights law organization fighting for racial justice and equity. She was the second woman ever to lead the organization. Ifill currently serves as Director-Counsel Emerita for the LDF. Ifill began her career as a Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union, before joining the staff of the LDF as an Assistant Counsel in 1988, where she litigated voting rights cases for five years. In 1993 Ifill left LDF to join the faculty at University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore. For more than two decades, she taught civil procedure and constitutional law to thousands of law students, and pioneered a series of law clinics, including one of the earliest law clinics in the country focused on challenging legal barriers to the reentry of formerly incarcerated persons. Her 2008 book “On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century,” was highly acclaimed, and is credited with laying the foundation for contemporary conversations about lynching and reconciliation. Ifill holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor’s degree from Vassar College. She is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and was named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world in 2021. Ifill currently serves on the board of the Mellon Foundation, and on the Board of Trustees of New York University School of Law.
Panel from Democracy Summit:
The Threats to Democracy
"Our democracy is in peril like never before in my lifetime. Even in the face of the danger our country faces, I will not be satisfied with taking us back to 2010. I have great ambitions for this country. I’m interested in, always, how we get to the democracy we dream of.” -Source
Key project type:
Legal Case