District Judge Robert L Wilkins

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Chambers: (202) 354-3480

Courtroom Deputy:
Terri Barrett (202) 354-3179

Judge Wilkins was appointed United States District Court for the District of Columbia on December 27, 2010. A native of Muncie Indiana, he obtained his B.S. cum laude in chemical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Following graduation, Judge Wilkins clerked for the Honorable Earl B. Gilliam of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. He later served as a staff attorney and as head of Special Litigation for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and he also practiced as a partner with Venable LLP, specializing in white collar defense, intellectual property and complex civil litigation.

During his tenure with the Public Defender Service and in private practice, Judge Wilkins served as the lead plaintiff in Wilkins, et al. v. State of Maryland, a civil rights lawsuit against the Maryland State Police. This lawsuit resulted in two landmark settlements that were the first to require systematic compilation and publication by a police agency of data for all highway drug and weapons searches, including data regarding the race of the motorist involved, the justification for the search and the outcome of the search. These settlements inspired a June 1999 Executive Order by President Clinton, Congressional hearings and legislation that has been enacted in over half of the fifty states.

Judge Wilkins also played a key role in the passage of Public Law No. 107-106, establishing the National Museum of African American History and Culture Plan for Action Presidential Commission, and he served as the Chairman of the Site and Building Committee of that Presidential Commission. The work of the Presidential Commission led to the passage of Public Law No. 108-184, which authorized the creation of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This museum will be the newest addition to the Smithsonian, and it is scheduled to open in 2015 between the National Museum of American History and the Washington Monument on the National Mall.

Judge Wilkins has received numerous honors and awards, including being named one of the “40 under 40 most successful young litigators in America” by the National Law Journal in 2002 and one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 years” by the Legal Times in 2008.

Clerkship and Internship Information
Currently, Judge Wilkins is not accepting Law Clerk applications. Once he begins Law Clerk hiring, he will post here and on OSCAR; applications will be accepted solely via OSCAR.

Judge Wilkins is not accepting applications from prospective interns. Once he begins accepting applications, he will post a notice here.