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Former Federal Judge To Deliver Pope & John Lecture

The Honorable Nancy Gertner to present “Decisions I Would Have Written”

CHICAGO --- Nancy Gertner, former judge for the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, will be the featured speaker for Northwestern University School of Law’s annual Pope & John Lecture on Professionalism.

Gertner’s lecture, “Decisions I Would Have Written,” will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, in Lincoln Hall in Levy Mayer Hall, 357 E. Chicago Ave. Doors will open at 5 p.m.

Gertner was appointed to the federal bench of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts in 1994 by President Bill Clinton. In 2011, she retired from the bench to teach at Harvard Law School.

Named one of “The Most Influential Lawyers of the Past 25 Years” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Gertner has written and spoken throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. She has published widely on sentencing, discrimination and forensic evidence; women’s rights; and the jury system. Her autobiography, “In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate,” was released in 2011. She continues to teach and write about women’s issues around the world.

Gertner has received numerous awards, including the Margaret Brent Award from the ABA commission on Women in the Profession; Massachusetts Bar Association’s Hennessey Award for judicial excellence in 2011; the Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award from Colby College in 2010; the National Association of Women Lawyers’ highest honor, the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award, in 2011; the Women's Bar Association's highest award, The Lelia Robinson Award, in 2012; and, in 2008, the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, which recognized her contributions to advancing human rights and civil liberties. The Marshall award has been given to one other woman, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

She was also selected to participate in the Rockefeller Foundation’s residency program in Bellagio, Italy, and is part of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience.

Gertner received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Barnard College, Columbia University, and her master’s degree in political science and law degree from Yale University.

Preregistration for this event is encouraged. Legal professionals can receive one hour of Illinois professionalism credit for attending the lecture. To receive credit, attendees must sign-in onsite during the event.

In 1991, the Chicago firm Pope & John Ltd. established a lecture series at Northwestern Law. Each year, the Pope & John Lecture on Professionalism focuses on the many dimensions of a lawyer’s professional responsibility, including legal ethics, public service, professional civility, pro bono representation and standards of conduct. The series is part of the Law School’s Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy, which is directed by Professor Steven Lubet.