Meet Winfield Murray, Esq., LL.M.
Associate Pre-Law Advisor, Morehouse College (Atlanta, Georgia)
The National HBCU Pre-Law Summit’s “2018 Pre-Law Advisor of the Year
Winfield Ward Murray is an attorney that grew up in Atlanta in a family that has been educated at Morehouse and Spelman for four generations. His great-great grandparents sent all five of their children to schools in the Atlanta University Center. And each generation since has attended either Morehouse or Spelman for their undergraduate education. In fact, his father, Winfield Ward Murray M.D., was one of the contributing founders of Morehouse School of Medicine.
Winfield graduated from Morehouse in 1998. He earned his J.D. degree from Howard University School of Law and then earned his LL.M. or Masters of Law degree from The George Washington University School of Law. Winfield began his legal career as a Judicial Clerk for the Chief Judge of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since that time, he has served as a prosecutor with the City of Atlanta and also became the Chief Prosecutor for Atlanta’s Community Court which sought to reduce the rate of recidivism through alternative sentencing. He held that position for seven years. Later, Winfield became the Assistant Solicitor for the United States Department of Labor. In that capacity he worked on a special task force created by Congress and the White House to reduce a substantial backlog of cases stemming from the Mine Safety and Health Division (MSHA). Miners work in some of the most abysmal conditions in the United States and work-related injuries and death are a constant threat. However, Winfield was instrumental in improving the working conditions of miners throughout the southeastern region through rehabilitation of dangerous mines form West Virginia to Puerto Rico and he garnered millions in uncollected fines for the federal government.
Winfield then continued his federal practice by serving as Trial Counsel in the Office of General Counsel for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ensuring equality in the purchase, sale, and rental of homes. Principally, he was charged with eradicating discrimination in the housing industry whether the discrimination was based on race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and/or sex. Winfield won critical cases and cases of first impression under the Fair Housing Act. In fact, he secured one of the largest settlements in his region for a disabled senior citizen whose housing provider refused to grant her a reasonable accommodation so that she could continue to live in her home. Winfield also secured a substantial award for a single mother who was denied housing because she was a single parent of a minor child.
Currently, Winfield serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Atlanta Mayor Keisha L. Bottoms. Here, he plays a pivotal role in seeing that the Mayor’s legislative and operational agenda come to fruition. Winfield collaborates with the Atlanta City Council, non-profit organizations, key stakeholders from the private business sector, and the Mayor’s constituents on behalf of the Mayor to promote and foster a affordable, resilient, and equitable city.
In addition to practicing law, Winfield is also a professor at Morehouse College where he serves as the Associate Pre-Law Director and teaches Constitutional Law and Moot Court. Winfield ensures that every pre-law student has the opportunity to complete at least two internships prior to graduation. Students can intern as clerks for Atlanta area judges, or with the district attorney’s office, public defender’s offices, and/or private law firms. Winfield helped to spearhead the support of Morehouse attorney alums to provide scholarships for an LSAT prep course for every student intending to take embark on a path to law school. As a practicing attorney, Winfield brings a unique perspective to the Political Science Department whether it is teaching Constitutional Law students the preferred method of briefing cases for law school or capitalizing on his fourteen years of experience as a litigator to teach trial techniques to his Moot Court students. After founding the Morehouse Moot Court Team in 2013, Winfield led the Morehouse Moot Court Team to become the American Collegiate Moot Court Association’s national championship team during the 2015-16 academic year. The victory was historic on multiple levels as this was the first time that this honor had ever been achieved by an historically black college or university. The team was also the first African-American team to win the national championships. The team received a Proclamation from the Atlanta City Council for their historic feat and Morehouse remains the only HBCU to have a moot court team at the undergraduate level.
Lastly, Winfield serves on the board of several influential non-profit organizations including Gideon’s Promise, and the Judson Lyon’s Society. He is also a proud member of Leadership Atlanta class of 2017.