James Forman Jr.

James Forman Jr. is the J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He attended public schools in Detroit, New York City, and Atlanta, then Brown University and Yale Law School.

Forman began his legal career as a staff attorney at Washington D.C.’s Public Defender Service. While there, he co-founded the Maya Angelou School, which serves young people who have struggled in school, dropped out, or have been arrested. The school has grown to five campuses and is currently celebrating 25 years of service.

Professor Forman teaches criminal law and a seminar called Inside Out: Issues in Criminal Justice, in which Yale students study alongside incarcerated men and women. He is the faculty director of the Yale Center for Law and Racial Justice and the founder of the Access to Law School Program, an innovative pipeline program serving first-generation and under-represented students from New Haven who wish to pursue a legal career.

His first book, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize.