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George discusses Gavel Gap at Commodore Classroom in Birmingham

by Jan. 17, 2018, 4:26 PM

Tracey George, the Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox  Family Professor in Law and Liberty (Vanderbilt University)
Tracey George, the Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor in Law and Liberty (Vanderbilt University)

Commodore Classrooms often offer alumni the opportunity to hear Vanderbilt faculty apply their expertise to current events in their area. Birmingham alumni recently enjoyed the legal insights of Tracey George, the Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor in Law and Liberty.

George’s program, “The Gavel Gap: Who Sits in Judgment in State Courts,” explained the study of a first-of-its-kind database of more than 10,000 current state judges that shows when it comes to race, gender and ethnicity, state courts are not representative of the people they serve.

James Gibson, JD’09, president of the Birmingham chapter, organized the classroom.

“I knew from my days as a law student that Tracey George was a first-rate speaker, and the presentation she offered was pertinent to local news stories on legal and political fronts,” said Gibson, who is a partner at Lightfoot, Franklin & White in Birmingham.

Gibson said that George delivered an engaging presentation that was compelling to alumni of any professional background.

“She discussed possible causes and implications for the Gavel Gap, especially as applied to the bench in Alabama, and did so in a dynamic way,” said Gibson. “The crowd was engaged, interested, and interactive, and we saw a number of new faces that had not attended Alumni Association events previously.”

Learn more about Commodore Classrooms and other alumni programs that feature Vanderbilt faculty at vuconnect.com/lifelonglearning.

Learn more about the Gavel Gap study, which was written by George and Albert H. Yoon, professor of law and economics at the University of Toronto.

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