Angela J. Davis Named 2021 Charlotte E. Ray Award Winner

Feb. 5, 2021

Distinguished Professor of Law Angela J. Davis
Distinguished Professor of Law Angela J. Davis

American University Washington College of Law congratulates Distinguished Professor of Law Angela J. Davis, recipient of the 33rd Annual Charlotte E. Ray Award from the Greater Washington Area Chapter (GWAC) of the Women Lawyers Division of the National Bar Association.

Since 1989, the GWAC and the GWAC Foundation have recognized an outstanding African-American woman from the local bar in honor of Charlotte E. Ray, the first woman admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and the first African-American woman certified as a lawyer in the United States.  In keeping with the GWAC mission and the trailblazing spirit of Charlotte E. Ray, awardees demonstrate a strong commitment to community involvement, mentorship, advocacy, and excellence in the Metropolitan Washington community. 

Davis – a nationally recognized expert in criminal law and procedure with a focus on prosecutorial power and racism in the criminal justice system – teaches a number of criminal justice-related classes, including Criminal Procedure, Criminal Defense: Theory and Practice, and Criminal Justice Ethics. She is the author of Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor (Oxford University Press, 2007), for which she won the Pauline Ruyle Moore award in 2009, and editor of Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution and Imprisonment (Penguin Random House, 2017).

Prior to joining the AUWCL faculty, Davis served as director of the D.C. Public Defender Service, where she began as a staff attorney representing indigent juveniles and adults. She also served as executive director of the National Rainbow Coalition and was a law clerk for the Honorable Theodore R. Newman, the former Chief Judge of the D.C. Court of Appeals. Davis is a graduate of Howard University and Harvard Law School.

Davis will be presented with the award at the GWAC’s annual award ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will be held virtually this year.