William Yeomans

Fellow in Law and Government

Office: Room 515A
Phone: 202-274-4410
E-mail: vCard


William Yeomans joined the faculty of law in 2009. From 2006 until 2009, he served as Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s Chief Counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has also been Legal Director of the Alliance for Justice and the first Director of Programs for the American Constitution Society, where he spearheaded the launch of its two publications: the Harvard Law and Policy Review and Advance. Prior to that, he spent 26 years at the Department of Justice where he litigated and supervised civil rights cases in the federal courts involving voting rights, school desegregation, employment discrimination, housing discrimination, hate crimes, police misconduct, abortion clinic violence, and human trafficking. He served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Chief of Staff, and acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.





Degrees & Universities

  • LL.M., Harvard Law School 1978
  • J.D., Boston University Law School 1976 (cum laude)
  • B.A., Trinity College 1972

  • + Selected Publications

    • William Yeomans, Nuke ‘Em, Harry: Why Democrats Should Kill the Filibuster, Politico (Nov. 21, 2013).
    • William Yeomans, Supreme Court Ethics, Natl. L. J. (Aug. 19, 2013).
    • William Yeomans, Can Federal Charges Be Brought Against George Zimmerman?, Reuters (July 23, 2013).
    • William Yeomans, Federal Civil Rights Laws Are a Backstop, N.Y. Times (July 16, 2013).
    • William Yeomans, The Continuing Struggle for Voting Rights, Reuters (May 7, 2013).
    • William Yeomans, The Continuing Importance of Section 5, Just. Watch (Feb. 20, 2013).
    • William Yeomans, GOP v. Voting Rights Act, The Great Debate - Reuters (Jan. 10, 2013).
    • William Yeomans, Delegitimization of Obama Begins, The Great Debate - Reuters (Nov. 5, 2012).
    • William Yeomans, How the Right Packed the Court, The Nation (Oct. 8, 2012).
    • William Yeomans, The GOP war on the Voting Rights Act, Politico (Sept. 11, 2012).
    • William Yeomans, Voter ID forces Attack Voting Rights, Politico (July 30, 2012).
    • William Yeomans, A Supreme Court for the 21st Century, Politico (June 28, 2012).
    • William Yeomans, Speak out to Defend Your Agenda, Mr. President, Politico (June 5, 2012).
    • William Yeomans, Trayvon Martin and Hate Crime Laws, (Apr. 12, 2012).
    • William Yeomans, Referendums Are Not the Avenue to Equality, Politico (Feb. 6, 2012).
    • William Yeomans & Herman Schwartz, Roberts to America: Trust Us, Politico (Jan. 24, 2012).
    • William Yeomans, South Carolina's Gift to the Voting Rights Act, Politico (Jan. 12, 2012).
    • William Yeomans, The Tea Party’s Terrorist Tactics, Politico (July 29, 2011).
    • William Yeomans, Time for Robert Mueller to Move On, Politico (June 8, 2011).
    • William Yeomans, Osama bin Laden Dies, Torture Thrives, Politico (May 5, 2011).
    • William Yeomans, Scrap the Civil Rights Commission, Politico (Dec. 23, 2010).
    • William Yeomans, Enforcing Civil Rights, Hum. Rights Mag. (Fall 2010).
    • William Yeomans, A Politician for a Politicized Court, Politico (May 2010).
    • William Yeomans, It’s All About Lindsay Graham, Politico (Apr. 2010).
    • William Yeomans, Ricci v. DeStefano: Declaring Civil War Within Title VII, Harv. Civ. Rights-Civ. Liberties L. Rev. (Feb. 25, 2010).
    • William Yeomans, An Uncivil Division, Leg. Affairs (Sept./Oct. 2005).
  • + Selected Presentations

    • William Yeomans, Panelist, The Growth of Disparate Impact Test (Federalist Society Annual Convention, Nov. 15, 2013).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Voting Rights Under Assault (Modern American Symposium, Apr. 22, 2013).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Issues in Election Law (Washington Center to Mexican Judicial Clerks, Dec. 2012).
    • William Yeomans, Panelist, The One-percent Court (American University Washington College of Law, D.C., Sept. 27, 2012).
    • William Yeomans, Address, Ricci v. DeStefano: Declaring Civil War Within Title VII (Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Launch of its Online Journal, Dec. 2010).
    • William Yeomans, Address, The Civil Rights Agenda (Board of Directors of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, D.C., Dec. 2008).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, A Fresh Start for a New Administration: Reforming Law and Justice Policies (American Constitution Society Panel, National Press Club, Oct. 30, 2008).
    • William Yeomans, Keynote Speech, Is Public Service Still an Option? (Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review Banquet, Cambridge, Mass., Mar. 1, 2008).
    • William Yeomans, Panelist, Protecting the Vote (American Constitution Society Convention, June 2007).
    • William Yeomans, Plenary Address, The Constitution in the 21st Century (American Constitution Society Convention, D.C., July 30, 2006).
    • William Yeomans, Testimony, The Role of the Department of Justice in Prison Litigation (Vera Institute’s Commission on Prison Safety and Abuse, L.A., Cal., Feb. 8, 2006).
    • William Yeomans, Panelist, The Roles of Political and Career Attorneys in the Civil Rights Division (American Constitution Society Panel, D.C., Dec. 14, 2005).
    • William Yeomans, Panelist, Katrina and Inequality (Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 12, 2005).
    • William Yeomans, Panelist, Voting After Katrina (Panel Discussion Sponsored by the Center for American Progress and the American Constitution Society, D.C., Nov. 1, 2005).
    • William Yeomans, Address, Trouble in the Civil Rights Division (Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, D.C., Sept. 2005).
    • William Yeomans, Plenary Address, The Constitution in the 21st Century (American Constitution Society Convention, D.C., July 30, 2005).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Trafficking in Persons (Training for State and Federal Law Enfrocement, Tampa, Fla., June 2004).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Trafficking in Persons (Training for State and Federal Law Enfrocement, Miami, Fla., June 2004).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Criminal Civil Rights Violations (U.S. Border Patrol Training, San Diego, Cal., Mar. 2004).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Investigating Color of Law Violations (Los Angeles Police Department Training, L.A., Cal., Nov. 2003).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Prosecution of Hate Crimes (National Advocacy Center, Columbia, S.C., Mar. 2003).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, The Efforts of the United States to Combat Trafficking in Persons (International Conference on Trafficking in Persons, Recife, Braz., Dec. 2002).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Interagency Coordination in the Fights Against Trafficking in Persons (National Advocacy Center, Columbia, S.C., Oct. 10, 2002).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Enforcement of The Americans With Disabilities Act (National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems Annual Conference, June 15, 2001).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Activities of the Civil Rights Division (National Advocacy Center, Columbia, S.C., May 22, 2001).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, The Role of the Department of Justice in The Freedom Rides (0th Anniversary Commemoration of the Freedom Rides, D.C., May 10, 2001).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Recent Developments in Civil Rights Law (National Association of Attorney General Civil Rights Conference, D.C., May 3, 2001).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, The Federal Effort to Combat Hate Crimes (National Council of Jewish Women Annual Convention, Mar. 12, 2001).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Current Issues in Civil Rights Law (National Association of Attorneys General Civil Rights Conference, D.C., Mary 11, 2000).
    • William Yeomans, Testimony, Report of the United States Pursuant to the Convention Against Torture (United Nations Committee Against Torture, Geneva, Switz., May 10-11, 2000).
    • William Yeomans, Testimony, Trafficking in Persons (Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, D.C., Apr. 4, 2000).
    • William Yeomans, Panelist, The Good Lawyer: Redefining Success in the Legal Profession (Department of Justice Symposium regarding Race, Ethnicity and the Law, D.C., June 8, 1999).
    • William Yeomans, Roundtable Discussion, Reforms in Federal Procurement (Small Business Administration Nationwide Video Conference, D.C., Sept. 22, 1998).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Hot Issues in Civil Rights Law (National Association of Attorneys General Civil Rights Conference, D.C., May 1998).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Impact of Adarand on Federal Race-Conscious Programs (D.C. Bar Association Winter Convention, D.C., Feb. 24, 1998).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Reforming Race-Conscious Admissions Programs (American Council on Education Conference, S.F., Cal., Feb. 8, 1998).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Structuring the College Admissions Process (American Council on Education Conference, Miami, Fla., Oct. 16, 1997).
    • William Yeomans, Panelist, The Impact of Hopwood on Admission to Higher Education (American Council on Education Conference, D.C., July 1997).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Federal Contracting After Adarand (Procurement Opportunities Conference Sponsored by the Federal Small Business Technology Council, Inc., Upper Marlboro, Md., June 17, 1997).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Review of Challenges to Race-Conscious Government Action (Harvard Symposium, Cambridge, Mass., May 9, 1997).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, The Impact on Federal Agencies of Adarand (Annual Conference of the Office of General Counsel, Department of the Navy, Arlington, Va., May 8, 1997).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Federal Procurement Reform and Equal Opportunity (United States Air Force 50th Anniversary Salute to Small Business, Va., May 6, 1997).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Federal Procurement Reform (Annual Convention of the Associated General Contractors, Albuquerque, N.M., May 1997).
    • William Yeomans, Panelist, Establishing a Compelling Interest (Harvard Symposium on Diversity in Education, Cambridge, Mass., Apr. 11, 1997).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, The Department of Justice’s School Desegregation Litigation (Harvard University Symposium on Desegregation, Atlanta, Ga., Apr. 5, 1997).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Legal Issues Relating to Legislation and Referenda on Affirmative Action and Other Civil Rights Issues (National Association of Attorneys General Civil Rights Conference, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Mar. 6, 1997).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Equal Opportunity for Small Disadvantaged Businesses (United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Legislative Forums, D.C., 1997).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Affirmative Action Reform in Government Procurement (National Association of Black Procurement Professionals, D.C., Oct. 31, 1996).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Small Business Procurement after Adarand (Air Force Small Business Training Conference, San Antonio, Tex., June 19, 1996).
    • William Yeomans, Presentation, Affirmative Action after Adarand (Department of Defense Worldwide Equal Opportunity Conference, Cocoa Beach, Fla., Apr. 1996).
    • William Yeomans, Testimony, Violence Against Abortion Providers (House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime, N.Y.C., N.Y., Oct. 1994).
    • William Yeomans, Testimony, Federal Hate Crime Laws (House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, Jackson, Miss., July 1994).
  • + Selected Media Appearances

    • The Source, "Voting Rights Litigation in Texas" (Tex. Pub. Radio Jan. 29, 2013) (Radio Interview).
    • All Things Considered, "How the Department of Justice Selects its Civil Rights Cases" (NPR July 18, 2013) (Radio Interview).
    • BBC, "The George Zimmerman Verdict" (BBC July 17, 2013) (Interview).
    • All Things Considered, "Election Laws Likely to Change Without the Voting Rights Act" (NPR June 28, 2013) (Radio Interview).