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Law School forms state supreme court initiative

  • Coordinated effort
    Coordinated effort  Neal Devins, director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law is coordinating new program with National Center for State Supreme Courts to increase public education and legal scholarship on state supreme courts.  Photo courtesy of the William & Mary Law School.
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(Williamsburg, VA) - March 6, 2009. The Institute of Bill of Rights Law (IBRL) at the William & Mary Law School and the National Center for State  Courts (NCSC), headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., are pleased to announce the formation of a new joint project, the State Supreme Court Initiative.

Much academic and media attention is focused on the U.S. Supreme Court. Public education and legal scholarship about state supreme courts is surprisingly underdeveloped—a circumstance the Initiative will seek to address.  The State Supreme Court Initiative will undertake projects to enhance the visibility of state supreme courts and create vehicles for public education about the work of state supreme courts. It will do so by forming a website, convening task forces, and running conferences that focus attention on state supreme courts.

On January 28, 2009, the Conference of Chief Justices, a body consisting of the highest judicial officer of each state, passed a resolution in support of NCSC and IBRL’s State Supreme Court Initiative.  Explains Professor Neal Devins, Goodrich Professor of Law and Director of IBRL, “We are confident that targeted resources designed to generate interest in state supreme courts will contribute to better informed and more accurate media coverage of state supreme courts as well as innovative state supreme court scholarship. We are honored to have the support of the Conference of Chief Justices in this effort.”

For more information, please see the IBRL website  or contact Rebecca Hulse, Assistant Director, State Supreme Court Initiative, at (757)221-2494 or via email at

William & Mary Law School Contact: Jaime Welch-Donahue, (757) 221-1840 or