The University of California Hastings College of the Law 2016 Commencement Ceremony will take place Sunday, May 15, 2016 in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. We are pleased to announce that our speaker will be Nancy Gertner, a former U.S. federal judge who built her career around standing up for women’s rights, civil liberties and justice for all.
"Judge Gertner has been a leading advocate for women’s rights and the rights of criminal defendants as a practitioner, a path breaking and independent voice as a federal judge, and an important and influential scholar throughout her career,” said Acting Chancellor & Dean David Faigman. “She is a dynamic speaker and an original thinker. I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity to introduce her to the Class of 2016.”
Judge Nancy Gertner is a graduate of Barnard College and Yale Law School where she was an editor on The Yale Law Journal. She received her M.A. in Political Science at Yale University. She has been an instructor at Yale Law School, teaching sentencing and comparative sentencing institutions, since 1998.
Gertner was appointed to the bench in 1994 by President Clinton. In 2008 she received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, only the second woman to receive it (Justice Ginsburg was the first).In 2010 she received the Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award. In 2011 she received the Massachusetts Bar Association's Hennessey award for judicial excellence, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Brandeis University. In 2012 she received the Arabella Babb Mansfield award from the National Association of Women Lawyers, and the Leila J. Robinson Award of the Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts. In 2014 she received the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association Commission on the Status of Women in the Profession.
She has been profiled on a number of occasions in the Boston Globe, the ABA Journal, Boston Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. She has written and spoken widely on various legal issues and has appeared as a keynote speaker, panelist or lecturer concerning civil rights, civil liberties, employment, criminal justice and procedural issues, throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Gertner's autobiography, In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate, was released on April 26, 2011. Her book, The Law of Juries, co-authored with attorney Judith Mizner, was published in 1997 and updated in 2010. She has published articles, and chapters on sentencing, discrimination, and forensic evidence, women's rights, and the jury system. In September of 2011, Judge Gertner retired from the federal bench and became part of the faculty of the Harvard Law School teaching a number of subjects including criminal law, criminal procedure, forensic science and sentencing, as well as continuing to teach and write about women’s issues around the world.
Alex A.G. Shapiro
Director of External Relations
UC Hastings College of the Law
Office: (415) 581-8842
Cell: (415) 813-9214