Vanderbilt law names social justice program after Barrett

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Vanderbilt Law School is naming its social justice program after the late civil rights lawyer George Barrett.

Barrett, who died last year, was perhaps best known for filing a 1968 lawsuit on behalf of then-Tennessee State University instructor Rita Geier, who accused the state of operating a dual system of higher education for minorities.

Barrett also represented corporate whistleblowers, fought for labor rights and tackled securities fraud.

Barrett earned his legal degree from Vanderbilt in 1957. Darren Robbins, a 1993 graduate of the law school and a founding partner of the San Diego law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, made an undisclosed gift to endow the program in Barrett’s name.

The gift will also create one-year public interest fellowships for graduates and fund programming throughout the year.