The Lessons of Lawyering: Why Ours is an Honorable Profession

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Heather Gerken, Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, delivered the University of Georgia School of Law’s 116th Sibley Lecture titled “The Lessons of Lawyering: Why Ours is an Honorable Profession.” The event took place April 13 at 3:30 p.m. in the Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom of Hirsch Hall.

Gerken, whose scholarship focuses on federalism, diversity and dissent, is one of the country’s leading experts on constitutional and election law. She has been published in the Harvard, Yale and Stanford law reviews, and her work has been the subject of four symposia. She and her scholarship have also been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, the Boston Globe and Time, among others. Politico Magazine in 2017 named Gerken one of The Politico 50, which names idea makers in American politics. She has served as a commentator for multiple media outlets, including NPR, CNN, MSNBC and NBC News.

A Darrow scholar, Gerken received her law degree summa cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School and her undergraduate degree from Princeton University. After law school, she clerked for U.S. District Court for the Ninth District Judge Stephen Reinhardt and U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. She worked as an appellate lawyer in Washington, D.C., before joining the faculty of Harvard Law School in 2000.

Gerken joined the Yale Law School faculty in 2006 and was named dean in 2017. She has won teaching awards at both Yale and Harvard, and was honored as one of the nation’s “twenty-six best law teachers” in a Harvard University Press book.

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