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Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university’s highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979 to 1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984 to 1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992 to 1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998 to 2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role on August 8, 2009.
John Paul Stevens (Retired), Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was born in Chicago, Illinois, April 20, 1920. He married Maryan Mulholland, and has four children - John Joseph (deceased), Kathryn, Elizabeth Jane, and Susan Roberta. He received an A.B. from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. He served in the United States Navy from 1942 to 1945, and was a law clerk to Justice Wiley Rutledge of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1947 Term. He was admitted to law practice in Illinois in 1949. He was Associate Counsel to the Subcommittee on the Study of Monopoly Power of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1951–1952, and a member of the Attorney General’s National Committee to Study Antitrust Law, 1953 to 1955. He was Second Vice President of the Chicago Bar Association in 1970. From 1970 to 1975, he served as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. President Ford nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat December 19, 1975. Justice Stevens retired from the Supreme Court on June 29, 2010.
Paulette Brown is the first woman of color to lead the American Bar Association in its 136-year history. President Brown is a labor and employment law partner and chief diversity officer with the Morristown, N.J., office of Locke Lord LLP. She has held many positions throughout her career, including as in-house counsel to a number of Fortune 500 companies and as a municipal court judge. In private practice, she has focused on all facets of labor and employment and commercial litigation. In 2009, President Brown was a recipient of the Spirit of Excellence Award from the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. In 2011, she was honored with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. Earlier this year President Brown, who served as President of the National Bar Association from 1993-1994, received the NBA’s highest honor, The C. Francis Stradford Award.
President Brown has made diversity and inclusion, pro bono activities, service to the ABA’s members, and community service priorities during her year as the ABA President.
She earned her J.D. at Seton Hall University School of Law and her B.A. at Howard University.
Harry T. Edwards is a Senior Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He was appointed to the court in 1980 and served as Chief Judge from 1994 to 2001. Before joining the court, he practiced law for five years in Chicago, Illinois. He was then a tenured professor of law at the University of Michigan and Harvard Law Schools. Since joining the court, he has taught part-time at a number of law schools, including Michigan, Harvard, University of California Irvine, Duke, Pennsylvania, and Georgetown. Since 1990, he has taught at NYU School of Law, where he is a Professor of Law. He has co-authored five books, the most recent of which is Federal Standards of Review (co-authored with Linda Elliott); he has also published scores of articles and presented numerous papers dealing with forensic science, legal education, the effects of collegiality on appellate decision-making, the pitfalls of empirical studies that purport to measure judicial decision-making, judicial process, federalism, legal ethics, judicial administration, professionalism, labor law, equal employment opportunity, labor arbitration, higher education law, and alternative dispute resolution. In 1992, he published The Growing Disjunction Between Legal Education and the Legal Profession, 91 Mich. L. Rev. 34 (1992), which has been recognized as one of the most cited law review articles of all time. He is currently a member of the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law at the National Academy of Sciences; American Law Institute; and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Sundaresh Menon is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Singapore and the President of the Singapore Academy of Law. Chief Justice Menon studied law at the National University of Singapore in 1986 and later obtained a master’s degree from Harvard Law School. He was admitted as an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore in 1987 and as an attorney and counsellor-at-law of the Bar of the State of New York in 1992. He was appointed senior counsel in January 2008.
As a private practitioner, Chief Justice Menon appeared before as well as in arbitration tribunals in various jurisdictions. He has also served as the deputy chairman of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and has represented Singapore at the UNCITRAL Working Group on Arbitration.
From April 2006 to March 2007, he served as a judicial commissioner of the Supreme Court and presided over several prominent criminal and civil cases in the High Court. After completing his term on the bench, he returned to Rajah & Tann becoming its managing partner in August 2009. He was appointed as the attorney general of Singapore in October 2010. He stepped down as the attorney general in June 2012. He was appointed as a judge of appeal of the Supreme Court on August 1, 2012, and as the chief justice on November 6, 2012.
Larry Kramer became president of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, California, in September 2012.
Before joining the Foundation, Mr. Kramer served from 2004 to 2012 as Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law School. During his tenure, he spearheaded significant educational reforms, pioneering a new model of multidisciplinary legal studies, enlarging the clinical education program, revamping to foster a public service ethos, and developing the international law program to support a growing emphasis on globalization in legal practice. His teaching and scholarly interests include American legal history, constitutional law, federalism, separation of powers, the federal courts, conflict of laws, and civil procedure.
At the start of his career, Mr. Kramer served as law clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Henry J. Friendly of the Second Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.
Following his clerkships, Mr. Kramer served as professor of law at the University of Chicago and University of Michigan law schools. He joined the faculty of New York University School of Law in 1994, where he served as Associate Dean for Research and Academics and Russell D. Niles Professor of Law until leaving for Stanford in 2004. Until joining Stanford, he also served as a special consultant for Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP.
Mr. Kramer is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Law Institute. He serves on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations, including ClimateWorks Foundation, the National Constitution Center, and Independent Sector.
Mr. Kramer received an A.B. in Psychology and Religious Studies from Brown University, graduating magna cum laude in 1980, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, magna cum laude, in 1984. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The People Themselves: Popular Constitutionalism and Judicial Review.
William H. Pryor Jr. serves as a federal circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. President George W. Bush appointed Judge Pryor during a Senate recess in 2004, and the Senate confirmed his appointment in 2005.
In 2013, President Barack Obama appointed Judge Pryor to serve four years on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a seven-member, bipartisan agency that establishes federal sentencing guidelines and policies.
For several years, Judge Pryor has served as a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Alabama School of Law and as an adjunct professor at the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University.
Judge Pryor served as Attorney General of Alabama from 1997 to 2004. When first appointed, he was, at 34, the youngest attorney general in the nation. He was later elected and reelected to that office in 1998 and 2002. In his reelection, Pryor received the highest percentage of votes of any statewide candidate.
Judge Pryor graduated, magna cum laude, from Tulane Law School where he was editor in chief of the Tulane Law Review, a member of Order of the Coif, received the George Dewey Nelson Memorial Award for the highest grade point average in the common-law curriculum, and was a charter member and president of the Tulane Federalist Society.
After graduating from Tulane, Judge Pryor served as a law clerk for Circuit Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
After his judicial clerkship, Pryor engaged in a private practice of commercial litigation in Birmingham.
Judge Pryor is an elected member of The American Law Institute and serves as an Adviser for the Restatement of the Law Third, Conflict of Laws. He serves on the boards of advisory editors of the Tulane Law Review and the Yale Law & Policy Review. He is a life fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation, a former vice-president of the Alabama Center for Law & Civic Education, and a former chairman of the Federalism and Separation of Powers Practice Group of the Federalist Society. In 2002 and 2003, Pryor served as a member of the State and Local Senior Advisory Committee of the White House Office on Homeland Security. Judge Pryor has been awarded honorary doctorates of law from John Marshall Law School in Atlanta and Regent University in Virginia.
Judge Pryor has lectured and published widely. He has lectured at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and several law schools and universities. He has published dozens of articles in law reviews and journals, including the Columbia Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Yale Law & Policy Review, and Tulane Law Review. He has published op-eds in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Times, and USA Today. He has testified before committees of the U.S. Senate on capital punishment, environmental law, and the role of the judiciary. A champion debater in college, Judge Pryor has debated a former Solicitor General of the United States and a President of the American Bar Association at National Lawyers’ Conventions of the Federalist Society (the former was broadcasted on National Public Radio), and he has debated secularist leaders in Britain at the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom.
Judge Pryor is married with two adult children.
Michael N. Simkovic is a co-recipient of the 2015 Young Scholars Medal. He is an Associate Professor at Seton Hall University School of Law.
Professor Simkovic’s research focuses on the regulation of credit markets through the United States Bankruptcy Code, and the regulation of financial markets in general through mandatory disclosure requirements. His research was cited in the U.S. Congress's Joint Economic Committee report recommending sweeping reforms of the credit card industry, which were enacted in 2009. His research has also been cited by researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Government Accountability Office and in popular publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Atlantic, and USA Today. He has presented his research at the American Law & Economics Association Conference, the Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, the National Tax Association, and at Harvard, Stanford, NYU, Berkeley, Northwestern, University of Virginia, UCLA, and USC.
Professor Simkovic has served as a visiting professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and at Fordham University. Before joining the Seton Hall faculty, he was an attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York concentrating in bankruptcy litigation; a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company, specializing in legal, regulatory, and business issues affecting financial services companies; and an Olin Fellow in Law and Economics at Harvard Law School.
At the New York Attorney General’s Office, Professor Simkovic investigated retail financial service companies engaged in illegal and deceptive sales practices.
Geoffrey R. Stone is the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Professor Stone joined the faculty in 1973 after serving as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. He later served as Dean of the Law School from 1987 to 1994 and Provost of the University of Chicago from 1994 to 2002. He is the author of many books on constitutional law, including Speaking Out: Reflections of Law, Liberty and Justice (2010); Top Secret: When Our Government Keeps Us in the Dark (2007); War and Liberty: An American Dilemma (2007); Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime (2004); and Eternally Vigilant: Free Speech in the Modern Era (Chicago 2002). He is currently chief editor of a 20-volume series, Inalienable Rights, which is being published by the Oxford University Press.
Professor Stone recently served on the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of The American Law Institute, the National Advisory Council of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a member of the American Philosophical Society. In recent years, he has served as Chair of the Board of the American Constitution Society.
This year, the Henry J. Friendly Medal will be presented to Patricia M. Wald.
Judge Wald served for 20 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, from 1979 to 1999, including five years as Chief Judge. She is currently a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
Judge Wald has had an enormously distinguished career and is known for her modesty, humanitarianism, and great wisdom. She is a respected leader in the legal community, recognized for the manner in which she handled cases involving the rights of women and children in the U.S. and abroad. She was the first woman appointed to the D.C. Circuit and the first woman to serve as Chief Judge of a Circuit; she also was the first woman to serve on ALI’s Executive Committee and the first woman officer, holding the offices of Second Vice President and First Vice President.
After her retirement from the federal bench, she went on to serve as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for two years and was appointed to the Iraq Intelligence Commission in 2004 to help investigate U.S. intelligence surrounding the beginning of the Iraq War. She also was a member of the President's Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the U.S. Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Before her elevation to the court, Judge Wald was the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Justice. She also previously worked as an attorney at the Mental Health Law Project, the Center for Law and Social Policy, the Neighborhood Legal Services Program, and the Office of Criminal Justice at the Department of Justice, and as the co-director of the Ford Foundation Drug Abuse Research Project.
She has received innumerable honors and awards, including the ABA Medal and perhaps, most notably, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Judge Wald has been a dedicated member of ALI for 43 years. She served on the Council for 31 years, and on the Nominating Committee, which identifies candidates for ALI’s Council and other leadership positions, for 26 years. She is currently an Adviser on the Sentencing and Election Administration projects.