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Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. Champion of Justice Award

About Charles J. Ogletree, Jr.

Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. is a prominent legal theorist who has earned an international reputation for taking a hard look at complex issues of law. Over his five-decades-long career, he has worked to secure for all the equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Professor Ogletree is the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and the Founder and former Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. He once also served as the director for Harvard Law’s clinical programs. Over the course of his illustrious career, he has authored several ground breaking books on race and justice including The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class, and Crime in America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education (W.W. Norton & Company, 2004). Professor Ogletree earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees with distinction from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He holds his law degree from Harvard Law School.

Professor Ogletree began his legal career at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, gaining a reputation for a formidable courtroom presence. While in the District, Professor Ogletree also began his now decades-long connection to the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. Professor Ogletree taught at UDC Law’s predecessor institution (Antioch Law School). He also served as a member of the University of the District of Columbia Board of Trustees from 1999 through 2006. In 2000, he was elected Chairman of the Board, and held the position until his departure. As an advocate for improving educational opportunities for students in need, he has established scholarships at both the undergraduate campus and at the law school. He has also been a frequent participant or speaker at law school events, including a 50th Anniversary celebration of Brown v. Bd. of Education with Dorothy Height, Randall Robinson, and others.

Professor Ogletree is a past recipient of the prestigious ABA Spirit of Excellence Award; has been named as one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal; and has been named by Ebony Magazine as one of the 100+ Most Influential Black Americans for the past 13 years. He was the recipient of the first ever Rosa Parks Civil Rights Award given by the City of Boston; the Hugo A. Bedau Award given by the Massachusetts Anti-Death Penalty Coalition; and Morehouse College’s Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize. He has also received honorary doctorates from several universities and colleges including Cambridge College, Wilberforce University, the University of Miami, the New England School of Law, Lincoln College, Tougaloo College, Mount Holyoke College and Amherst College.

About the Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. Champion of Justice Award

The Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. Champion of Justice Award is presented annually to individuals who are using their position and platform to promote social justice and equality throughout the United States and abroad. Recipients of the award exemplify the same values embodied by Professor Ogletree and UDC Law’s commitment to public service, diversity, and social justice.

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For more information about the Gala or sponsorship opportunities, please contact
Muadi B. Dibinga, Gala Coordinator, at or (917) 604-6030.


more Calendar

4/29/2020 » 5/11/2020
Spring Final Examination Period (4/29-5/11)

LLSA Recognition Ceremony

School of Law Graduation

5/18/2020 » 5/22/2020
One-Week Summer Turbo Courses

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