George Barrett Social Justice Program

About Us

The Geroge Barrett Social Justice Program aims to promote a dynamic atmosphere within which issues of equality, access, and service are openly and regularly explored by faculty and students inside and outside the classroom. Students can choose from a variety of courses and clinics that address a diversity of topics. The program sponsors guest speakers, conferences, workshops, and a variety of activities for both students and faculty. It also works to help connect students to public interest practice opportunities during law school and beyond.

Social justice is the heart of law. The Social Justice Program keeps it at the heart of Vanderbilt Law School.

Terry Maroney
Robert S. and Theresa L. Reder Chair in Law

Program Offerings

  • Social Justice Reading Group

    This innovative group provides a forum in which students and faculty can explore together topics related to public interest law and lawyering through legal scholarship and work from other disciplines.

    Discussions focus on substantive areas of social justice practice—including civil rights, poverty law, and the rights of defendants and prisoners—as well as the challenges that lawyers encounter when representing vulnerable or marginalized clients and causes.

  • George Barrett Social Justice Lecture

    This annual lecture features prominent social justice advocates discussing relevant issues of the day. The series honors George Barrett ‘57, a civil rights attorney who fought for desegregation in Tennessee’s higher education institutions.

  • Social Justice and the Legal Profession Panel

    Organized in partnership with the Public Interest Office, this series exposes students to a diverse range of career paths that allow attorneys to put into practice their social justice and public service values. It also explores the special responsibility all attorneys have for the quality of our justice system.

  • George Barrett Social Justice Fellowship

    Vanderbilt is excited to announce the establishment of the George Barrett Social Justice Fellowship, which was made possible by a generous donation to the law school in honor of renowned civil rights attorney George Barrett ‘57. The George Barrett Social Justice Fellow will carry out a one-year public interest project under the supervision of a partner non-profit organization or public defender office.

Program News

Have Questions?

Contact the George Barrett Social Justice Program coordinator.