Justin L. Simard, Director
Justin Simard is an Assistant Professor of Law at Michigan State College of Law. He has a B.A. from Rice University, and a J.D. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania. Justin started the Citing Slavery Project to reveal the legacy of the law of slavery inAmerican law and to make that research accessible to others. He hopes that the database will become a resource for researchers, family historians, and educators. If you have questions or suggestions about the project or the website or if you are considering using the database for research or education, Justin would be excited to hear from you. He can be reached at
Armando J. Barcena, Editor
Armando J Barcena graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2022. He has a B.A. in History, and a Minor in Political Science, from California State University Fullerton, located in his home state of California. Armando is interested in a wide array of legal topics such as Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Environmental Law. Armando has previously researched freedom suits and their prevalence in the American Confluence. He can be reached at
Bret Bicoy, Editor
Bret Bicoy is currently a third-year law student at the Michigan State University College of Law, and he has a B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He chose to join the Citing Slavery Project team because he believes in the project and supports the legal reforms that will be made because of it. Bret intends on working in the public interest sector post-graduation from MSU. He can be reached at
Audrea Dakho, Editor
Audrea Dakho is a 3L at Michigan State University and has an M.S. in Criminology & Criminal Justice from the University of Michigan, Dearborn. She is a first generation Iraqi American, and her home state is Michigan. Audrea is interested in the intersection of criminal justice reform and immigration reform and defending those who have been adversely affected and disenfranchised by both systems. Her previous research experience pertains to postsecondary education in carceral spaces. Audrea is beyond thrilled to be joining such a much-needed research project that explores the racism that is so firmly rooted in this country's legal system and hopes this will bring forth further discussions on how to dismantle the structures that target and abuse historically marginalized groups of people. She is currently researching cases from Louisiana. She can be reached at
Hannah Gates, Editor
Hannah Gates is a 1L, JD candidate at Michigan State University. She has an M.A in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Michigan. She has a B.A in liberal arts and with a minor in anthropology from the University of New Mexico. She was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Her interest includes educational policy, employment, and criminal defense law. She is working on the Citing Slavery project to support teachers to provide access to material that provides awareness of the relationship between African Americans and the legal system throughout history before and after slavery. She is passionate about providing meaningful and equitable instruction to students. She hopes this project will provide students with the skills to think critically about systematic issues within our legal system. She can be reached at
Jessica Hollan, Editor Emeritus
Jessica Hollan graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2022 and has a B.C.J. in Forensic Psychology from Tiffin University. Jessica is originally from South Texas and the proud granddaughter of immigrants. Her legal interests include criminal justice reform, housing reform, immigration and refugee reform, and legal history. Jessica has worked on multiple research projects regarding criminal justice reform at her undergraduate institution. She is honored to be a part of Citing Slavery and to be able to lead discussions in the field regarding the importance of recognizing how deeply engrained the legal system is in racism. Jessica researched cases from Texas. She can be reached at
Clark Johnson, Editor
Clark Johnson is a 3L, JD-MBA candidate at Michigan State University. He has a B.A. in Political Science and History from The University of Connecticut. His legal interests are Constitutional and Administrative Law, as well as Human Rights Law and Corporate Law. He decided to work on this project because he thinks it is important to try and reconcile the institution of slavery with our own legal institutions and that tracking the still applicable law through that is a highly effective way of pursuing the reconciliation. Further, Clark believes it is important to humanize the victims of the institution, to reveal the scale of this inhuman enterprise, and to help people get in touch with their history. Clark’s background would revolve around American Imperial History and its current Imperial predicaments, and consequences of its Imperialism. Clark is not an imperialist. Clark is working on the slave cases from Washington D.C. He can be reached at
Samuel Jones, Editor Emeritus
Samuel Jones graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2022. He has a B.S. from Grand Valley State University, in Allendale Michigan. He is interested in Family and Criminal Law, especially child custody and capital punishment cases. Sam’s undergraduate degree was in History with an emphasis on the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction Era, and he is working on the Citing Slavery project because he thinks it is important to better understand the interactions of African Americans with the legal system during and after slavery. Sam completed the collection of the slave cases from Georgia, his home state. He can be reached at
Patrick Marr, Editor
Patrick Marr is currently a third-year law student at Michigan State University with a B.A. in both religion and philosophy from James Madison University. Patrick, growing up in a military family, spent most of his childhood in Georgia but also lived in Maryland and Virginia. His legal interests include Constitutional law, criminal defense, and transportation reform. Coming from an undergraduate background dealing in great deal with theory, he is excited to continue to understand how ideology has influenced the law by working on the Citing Slavery project. Patrick is currently working on the slave cases from Maryland. He can be reached at
Anna Maxwell, Editor
Anna Marie Maxwell is a 1L at Michigan State University College of Law. She has her B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience and Philosophy from the University of Michigan. She is a first-generation student whose legal interests include juvenile law, prison reform, and judicial reform. Anna Marie joined this project because she believes it is essential for judges to incorporate the discussion of slavery and racism into their opinions and how they have contributed to American law. She also wanted to help make this information easily accessible to the public. She can be reached at
Hannah Robinson, Editor Emeritus
Hannah Robinson graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2022 and has a B.S. in History and Government from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. She grew up in Georgia, and now calls Mississippi home when not in Michigan. Hannah has an interest in International Human Rights, especially Immigration and Refugee issues, and she hopes to work in policymaking and advocacy after obtaining her J.D. Her interest in the work of Citing Slavery has roots in her time spent in the rural south, where the history of slavery runs deep, and her time spent studying racism both current and historical while at her undergraduate institution. Hannah worked on various projects as a student, including a capstone research project on slavery and the Second Seminole War. Hannah worked on cases from Mississippi. She can be reached at
Dustin Reed Solt, Editor Emeritus
Dustin Reed Solt graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2022. He has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is from Maryville, Tennessee and is interested in public policy and government relations law. This project interests him because he believes that understanding the role that slavery played in the development of law in America lends a perspective through which to consider contemporary legal problems that have been historically neglected. Reed completed collection of cases from Tennessee. He can be reached at
Caitlin Butcher, Contributor
Caitlin Butcher is a third-year law student at MSU College of Law, with a B.A. in Criminal Justice with high honors from Michigan State University. She is a first-generation law student, and her interests largely include social justice issues such as criminal justice reform, Indigenous law, prison reform, wrongful convictions, and racial justice. Caitlin joined the Citing Slavery Project to bring more attention to the project's important work through social media. She believes it is of vital importance to increase awareness about the American legal system's roots in slavery and dehumanization. She can be reached at
Jesse Doolin, Contributor
Jesse Doolin is a first-year undergraduate at Michigan State University. He is studying to earn a Political Science degree with the intention of going to law school. He is interested in the Citing Slavery project due to a fascination with the intricacies of the law. He believes it is important to investigate the extent to which slavery impacts law today and analyze that effect through the specificities of the law. His current inexperience with the subject also offers a unique perspective, researching complex topics and fields of study early on in his prospective legal career. He can be reached at
Annika Torng, Contributor
Annika Torng is a junior at Haverford College where she is majoring in History and minoring in Economics and Mandarin. She is from Okemos, Michigan and is hoping to attend law school after graduating. Annika worked on the project to to develop a better understanding of the American legal system and its origins.