“Those who practice social justice law are essentially swimming upstream while others are on their way down. Unless you are serious about your direction and the choices you make and the need for assistance, teamwork and renewal, you will likely grow tired and start floating along and end up going downstream with the rest. We all grow tired at points…The goal is to try to structure our lives and relationships in such a way that we can recognize when we get lost and be ready to try to reorient ourselves and start over.”
—Bill Quigley, "Letter to a Law Student Interested in Social Justice”
DePaul Journal for Social Justice 7 (2007)
February 20, 2009, New York, NY – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) announced the selection of its new legal director and issued the statement below. After former legal director Bill Goodman left to return to Detroit, CCR searched long and hard to find his replacement.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is thrilled to announce human rights lawyer Bill Quigley of New Orleans will begin as its next Legal Director in May. Bill has been an extraordinary public interest lawyer for over 30 years, and has served as counsel on issues including post-Katrina social justice, public housing, voting rights, the death penalty, living wage, civil liberties, educational reform, constitutional rights, human rights work in Haiti, and civil disobedience. Bill has been an essential mainstay to social justice work in New Orleans before and after Katrina.
CCR recognizes the important work that remains to be done in New Orleans and the southern region and how essential Bill is to that work. By becoming CCR’s new legal director, Bill and CCR have “restructured our relationships,” as he writes in the passage above, to provide more strategic resources to assist the on-going work in New Orleans and beyond. Building on Bill’s tremendous history of being a people’s lawyer and CCR’s origins in the southern civil rights movement, we are very excited to join our kindred visions for expanding fundamental human rights through social justice lawyering.
To Bill, we bring our 43-year history of cutting edge lawyering, energy and national resources. To CCR, Bill brings his vision, litigation experience and deep ties to the southern regional community. We look forward to forging a just human rights vision and swimming upstream together.
Bill has been an active public interest lawyer since 1977 and worked with a wide range of public interest organizations on an equally wide range of issues. He has litigated numerous cases with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the Advancement Project, and with the ACLU of Louisiana, for which he served as General Counsel for over 15 years.
Prior coming to CCR, Bill was a law professor and director of the law clinic at the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans. He has served as an advisor on human and civil rights to Human Rights Watch USA and Amnesty International USA, and served as the chair of the Louisiana Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Bill has received numerous awards, including the 2006 Camille Gravel Civil Pro Bono Award from the Federal Bar Association New Orleans Chapter, the 2006 Stanford Law School National Public Service Award, and the 2006 National Lawyers Guild Ernie Goodman award.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. We at CCR are honored and excited to be working with Bill Quigley who has worked every day of his legal career to advance this important mission.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.