The former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama is joining the University of Alabama School of Law as a distinguished visiting lecturer in August.
Joyce White Vance, a President Barack Obama appointee, voluntarily retired the day before President Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration and was not among the 46 holdover U.S. attorneys fired by Trump on March 10.
But she’ll have plenty of company from former federal prosecutors in her position in legal education. Three of the recently ousted U.S. attorneys have found refuge in law schools, while a fourth who also stepped down prior to Trump’s inauguration has similarly joined a law faculty.
Law schools are generally viewed as a comfortable way-station for former government lawyers while they plan their next steps—be that a lucrative Big Law career, a run for public office or other endeavors.
Vance, who was appointed in 2009, will teach criminal justice reform, civil rights and criminal procedure, the school said this week.
“I’m honored to be able to work with students who will shape the future of the legal profession and our communities and to share my experience, which underlines the critical importance of the rule of law, with them,” Vance said in a written statement. “I look forward to the opportunity to continue to make a contribution to important issues of social justice, criminal justice reform, civil rights and good government.”
Vance obtained her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. As U.S. attorney, she investigated Alabama’s prisons and successfully challenged a state anti-immigration bill that would have prevented undocumented immigrants from receiving any form of state or local benefits.
“Her knowledge and experience—both as U.S. attorney and in private practice—will make her a valuable presence in the classroom and a tremendous resource for our students,” said Alabama Law Dean Mark Brandon.
Barbara McQuade, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, was the first of the ousted federal prosecutors to join a law school. Just four days after being fired, she was named a “professor from practice” at the University of Michigan Law School. Later that week, Paul Fishman, former U.S Attorney for the District of New Jersey, joined Seton Hall University School of Law.
New York University School of Law then announced that Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and perhaps the most high-profile of the fired prosecutors, would join the school as a scholar in residence on April 1.
The first of the newest crop of former federal prosecutors to head to law schools was David Hickton, the former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He resigned in November and two months later accepted a position at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Contact Karen Sloan at email@example.com. On Twitter: @KarenSloanNLJ