Racial Disparity in Property Ownership Subject of Williams Lecture April 12 at VLS

Williams Lecture 2018

Texas A&M University School of Law Interim Dean and Professor Thomas W. Mitchell will discuss “How to Address Racial Disparity in Property Ownership” during the 14th annual Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, April 12, in Chase Community Center at Vermont Law School. The lecture, free and open to the public and press, will be streamed live at vermontlaw.edu/live.

During the lecture, Mitchell, who co-directs the Program in Real Estate and Community Development Law at Texas A&M, will examine how legislative reform of property laws that negatively impact disadvantaged property owners in disproportionate ways can be achieved, although there are often significant barriers that stymie such reform efforts. He will draw upon his experience serving as the reporter for the Uniform Law Commission of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, which to date has been enacted into law in 10 states, as a case study of how such reform can be achieved by working with legal advocates and activists at the local and state level.

“We are pleased to welcome Dean Mitchell to Vermont Law School for this important talk on racial disparity in property ownership and how we can achieve legislative reform to counter the legacy of discriminatory property laws in the United States,” said Associate Dean David Mears, director of the Environmental Law Center. “I encourage all community members to join us as we examine issues that should be of concern to every American.”

The Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law series is named for Norman Williams, who came to Vermont Law School in 1975 after a long and distinguished career in public service and teaching, particularly in the area of land use planning, and who played a key role in founding the Environmental Law Center. The lecture series is a gift of Frances Yates, a longtime VLS supporter and former trustee, in memory of Professor Williams, Charles Yates JD’93, and Anya Yates JD’94.

For more information about the Williams Lecture, visit vermontlaw.edu/williams, email rmilaschewski@vermontlaw.edu, or call 802-831-1287.


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation’s largest and deepest environmental law program. VLS offers a juris doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; four master’s degrees—Master of Environmental Law and Policy, Master of Energy Regulation and Law, Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy, and Master of Arts in Restorative Justice; and four post-JD degrees —LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, LLM in Environmental Law, and LLM in Food and Agriculture Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, Center for Applied Human Rights, and Center for Justice Reform. For more information, visit vermontlaw.edu, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.