Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Mississippi College School Of Law Professor Killed In Triple Homicide

ABA Journal, Clinical Law Prof Who Worked For Social Justice Killed in Triple Murder:

WelchAn associate clinical professor at the Mississippi College School of Law died over the weekend in a fatal shooting that also claimed the lives of her mother and sister.

The lawyer, Crystal Lynn Welch, 42, had devoted her life to social justice work, according to the Mississippi Free Press. She also helped lead a successful effort in 2020 to replace the Mississippi state flag, which had incorporated the Confederate flag in its design.

Welch died along with her mother, Ida Thomas Welch, 76, and her sister, Vicky Renee Welch, 56.

From her faculty web page:

Crystal Welch joined the faculty as Law Instructor and Supervising Attorney teaching clinical courses with MC Law’s Family and Children’s Law Center. A Jackson native, Crystal attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. She received her legal training at Mississippi College School of Law where she practices and teaches adoption law and youth court law. After whetting her appetite for social justice advocacy as a volunteer with the Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project and, later, a legal intern with Boston's Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Crystal's passion for family and child advocacy flourished when she moved to Guatemala after college to help the children and families of Camino Seguro (Safe Passage). Her experience advocating for the futures of the families and children of Zone 3 in Guatemala City helped equip her with the zealous advocacy and compassionate counsel necessary to serve her clients’ best interests. Before joining the MC Law faculty, Crystal practiced family law with Robertson + Associates law firm in Ridgeland, MS while she simultaneously balanced teaching as an adjunct professor at the law school.

Crystal was selected to present her legal research at the International Society of Family Law conference at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Her article, “When the Bough Breaks: Postmodern Approach to Redefining Family Law to Protect Children’s Rights in Marriage Equality and Same-Sex Adoption Legislation,” was published in an international law journal in May 2019.

In addition to her legal practice and scholarship, Crystal continues her commitment to community service as Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi; member of the MS Commission on Children’s Justice’s new Website Development Oversight Committee; member of the Mississippi Bar Association; member of the American Bar Association; and member of the Advisory Board for the Mississippi State Department of Health Office Against Interpersonal Violence. Crystal serves on the American Civil Liberties Union Board of Directors. She is a former member of the Advisory Board for the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project and a member of the Board of Directors for 200 Million Flowers adoption agency. Crystal founded a book club with the Metro Jackson Black Women Lawyers Association where they meet monthly to discuss literature curated by lawyers and judges. She also serves as the faculty advisor for MC Law’s Black Law Students Association. During her membership with Women for Progress Mississippi, Crystal coordinated and co-hosted the 2021 Jackson Mayoral Debate.

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