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James Harvie Wilkinson III was born in New York City and raised in Richmond. After graduating from Yale in 1967 and serving in the U.S. Army from 1968-69, he entered UVA as a law student. While in law school, he made history as the first student to be appointed to the University's Board of Visitors. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell from 1972 to 1973, an experience he later turned into a book. He returned to UVA as an associate law professor from 1973 to 1978, where his courses included criminal procedure, equal protection, constitutional law, federal courts, and 14th Amendment. For the next three years he worked as editorial page editor of The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk). He was then deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division in the U.S. Justice Department from 1982-83. In 1983 he returned once more as a faculty member to UVA, until he was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit by President Ronald Reagan. Wilkinson has served on the court since 1984 and was its chief judge from 1996 to 2003. In 2004, he was honored with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law, the highest external honor bestowed by the University. The citation for that award noted that Wilkinson "is one of our own," as a Virginian, student, professor and scholar.
Serving Justice: A Supreme Court Clerk’s View (Charterhouse, 1974).
From Brown to Bakke: The Supreme Court and School Integration, 1954-1978 (Oxford University Press, 1979).
Goss v. Lopez: The Supreme Court as School Superintendent, 1975 Sup. Ct. Rev. 25-75.
The Supreme Court, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Three Faces of Constitutional Equality, 61 Va. L. Rev. 945-1018 (1975).
Constitutional Protection for Personal Life-Styles (with G. Edward White), 62 Cornell L. Rev. 563-625 (1977).
Mr. Justice Powell: An Overview, 11 U. Rich. L. Rev. 259-267 (1977).
The Supreme Court and Southern School Desegregation, 1955-1970: A History and Analysis, 64 Va. L. Rev. 485-559 (1978).
Linwood Holton: An Idealist’s Demise, in The Governors of Virginia, 1860-1978, at 393-408 (University Press of Virginia, 1982).
Monrad Paulsen, 63 Va. L. Rev. 161-173 (1977).
Black Colleges: The Right to Segregate, Wash. Post, Jan. 1, 1979, at A15.
Letters: “Brown to Bakke,” N.Y. Times Book Rev., Sept. 9, 1979, at 52-53.
Emerson Spies, 66 Va. L. Rev. 1037-1038 (1980).
Bye, Bye Byrds: The Stubborn Victors, Wash. Post, Dec. 6, 1981, at C1-C2.
Preface, in A Virginia Profile: 1960-2000, Assessing Current Trends and Problems vii-viii (John V. Moeser ed., Commonwealth Books, 1981).
Review of Oakley & Thompson, Law Clerks and the Judicial Process, 32 J. Legal Educ. 304-306 (1982).
Bakke Case, in 2 The Guide to American Law: Everyone’s Legal Encyclopedia 19-21 (West, 1983).
Testimony, in 2 Confirmation Hearings on Federal Appointments 98-102 (Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearing, Nov. 16, 1984).
Testimony, in 3 Confirmation Hearings on Federal Appointments 69-70, 374-377 (Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearings, Feb. 22 and Aug. 7, 1984).
Weber Case, in 10 The Guide to American Law: Everyone’s Legal Encyclopedia 334-335 (West, 1984).