Samford University Cumberland School of Law will host its 30th annual Thurgood Marshall Symposium on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 5 p.m. in the Regions Community Resource Room in Samford’s Cooney Hall. This year’s event will focus on voting rights issues in Alabama through the discussion of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding Alabama's congressional district map.
Leading the discussion will be keynote speaker Abha Khanna. Khanna, a two-time graduate of Yale University, is a partner in Elias Law Group’s litigation practice. In her practice, she advises clients on a range of political law matters, largely focusing on voting rights and redistricting litigation. She has litigated before numerous state and federal courts across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Khanna leads the firm’s redistricting practice, and over the course of the post-2020 cycle has overseen nearly 20 redistricting cases from trial to appeal. In 2023, she successfully argued the Allen v. Milligan case, resulting in a historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Alabama's congressional district map violated the VRA by diluting the votes of Black residents.
In 2019, one federal judge described Khanna’s cross-examination during trial as “an artful tour de force that should be studied by law students” and she regularly guest lectures law school courses on election law, redistricting and trial practice.
Mercedes Davis, a third-year student and chair of the 2024 symposium, said, "Ms. Khanna has done so much to protect our voting rights here in Alabama. We are thrilled to have such an esteemed attorney join us to speak at our 30th Thurgood Marshall Symposium, especially during this crucial election year."
The Thurgood Marshall Symposium is presented by Cumberland School of Law’s Black Law Students Association, in partnership with the Samford University’s Office of Student Success and Diversity. For 30 years, the lecture series has honored the legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall by addressing historical and contemporary issues that affect minority communities.
The event is free and open to the public.
One hour of CLE credit is available for Alabama attorneys.
Convocation credit is offered for Samford University students.