ABA Journal

Character Witness

6 ABA Journal Character Witness articles.

First Black federal judges carved a civil rights path

In “The Jackie Robinsons of the Federal Judiciary,” published in the University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class, Judge Willie J. Epps Jr. recounts the strengths, struggles and legacies of these nine historic trailblazers. “They did not let barriers stop them from becoming federal judges when segregated schools, employers, restaurants, hotels, public bathrooms, water fountains and swimming pools prevailed,” says Epps, a magistrate judge in the Western District of Missouri.

How I made a career in mass torts

The law appealed to me for many reasons, the primary one being that one person, regardless of socioeconomic status, can take action and stand against a company or governmental actor that had wronged them and realize some modicum of justice—unlike many other legal systems found around the world.

A lawyer’s passion for pets prompts career switch

“A few months before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I left federal government service as an attorney for a maritime regulatory agency to honor my life’s mission to work in the pet health equity space. Pet health equity is a growing field dedicated to providing access to veterinary care and veterinary products for companion animals, regardless of their owner’s resources and location.”

Inmate’s life sentence spurs him to push for felony murder reform

Of course, there are inmates who pose a danger to society. There are plenty of others, like me, who made bad choices or had addiction issues and can be rehabilitated and released to become productive members of society.

How I went from civil litigator to animal policy strategist

Nearly 40 years into my legal career, I own and manage the Animal Policy Group and am shoulder-deep in every issue involving pets in the United States, usually on behalf of the biggest players in the pet sector—from veterinary to pharmaceutical, nutrition to retail and even veterinary colleges.

Professor’s justice project aims to humanize those behind bars

“In September 2014, I started teaching at a maximum-security prison in Maryland because I wanted to provide an educational opportunity to a group of human beings who have largely been forgotten by society. I knew the research showing prison education dramatically improves people’s behavior and life chances, but I wanted to see and feel that human transformation myself. Teaching my own class provided an ideal opportunity to create a productive educational environment in a classroom setting with minimal staff supervision.”