2022 Fairchild Lecture

Judge Nancy Gertner
"The Future of the U.S. Supreme Court"

4 p.m. Central Time, Monday, April 25, 2022

Register to attend. 

Judge Nancy Gertner is a graduate of Barnard College and Yale Law School where she was an editor of The Yale Law Journal. She received her M.A. in Political Science at Yale University and has been an instructor at Yale Law School from 1999 to 2011, and again in 2020. She was appointed to the bench in 1994 by President Bill Clinton. She left the bench in 2011 to become Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School, where she teaches subjects including criminal law, criminal procedure, forensic science, and sentencing. She served as a Commissioner on President Biden's Commission on the Supreme Court.  Judge Gertner has received several prestigious awards, including the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, in 2008. She was only the second woman to receive this prestigious award – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first.  Other awards received by Judge Gertner include the Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award (2010), the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Hennessey award for judicial excellence (2011), an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Brandeis University (2011), the Arabella Babb Mansfield award from the National Association of Women Lawyers (2012), the Leila J. Robinson Award of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (2012), and the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement award from the American Bar Association Commission on the Status of Women in the Profession (2014). She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyer.She has been profiled in the Boston Globe, the ABA Journal, Boston Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. She has written and spoken on various legal issues throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Her book, “The Law of Juries,” co-authored with attorney Judith Mizner, was published in 1997 and updated in 2010, and her autobiography, “In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate,” was released in 2011. Her book, "Representative Opinions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg" will be published in late April (Talbot Press).  A judicial memoir, "Incomplete Sentences,"  about the men Judge Gertner sentenced during her judicial career, is forthcoming (Beacon Press).Judge Gertner has published articles and chapters on sentencing, discrimination, forensic evidence, women’s rights, and the jury system. She continues to write and speak about these issues in the United States and throughout the world. 

You can support Judge Fairchild's legacy by making a gift to the Thomas E. Fairchild Lecture fund today.

About Judge Fairchild

Thomas Fairchild

Judge Thomas E. Fairchild, a 1937 UW Law School graduate, was Wisconsin Attorney General, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, circuit judge, justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and then later chief judge and ultimately senior circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit until his death on February 12, 2007. For 50 years, Judge Fairchild demonstrated both a scholarly regard for those principles of law that generations have molded into the American definition of justice and equality and a remarkable sensitivity to the ever-changing human conditions that make the search for justice and equality an ongoing one.

About the Fairchild Lecture

The Thomas E. Fairchild Lectureship was established in 1988 at University of Wisconsin Law School as a tribute to Judge Fairchild. Initiated by his former law clerks, the lectureship brings a distinguished member of the legal profession — from the bench, bar or academia — to speak at UW Law School on a topic of importance to the profession. Many distinguished guests have served as Fairchild lecturers, including Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O'Connor.

View a complete list of Fairchild lectures

1988 Justice John Paul Stevens, "A Judge's Use of History"
1989 David S. Ruder, "The Development of Legal Doctrine Through Amicus Participation: The SEC Experience"
1990 Judge Kenneth W. Starr: ”The Court of Appeals and the Future of the Federal Judiciary"
1991 Judge Harry T. Edwards, "The Judicial Function and the Elusive Goal of Principled Decision Making"
1993 Judge Mary Schroeder, "Appellate Justice: Fairness or Formulas"
1994 Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson, “Refreshing Institutional Memories: Wisconsin and the American Law Institute"
1995 Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, "The Life of the Law: Principles of Logic and Experience from the United States"
1996 John P. Frank, "The Shelf Life of Justice Hugo L. Black"
1997 Sol M. Linowitz, "Moment of Truth for the Legal Profession"
1998 Judge Lawrence Walsh, "The Future of the Independent Counsel Statute"
1999 Professor Marc Galanter, "Old and in the Way: The Demographic Transformation of the Legal Profession and Its Implications for the Delivery of Legal Services"
2000 Stephen B. Bright, "Will the Death Penalty Remain Alive in the Twenty-First Century?"
2001 Professor Elizabeth Warren, "The Market for Data: The Changing Role of Social Sciences in Shaping the Law"
2002 Judge Patrick Lucey, Sen. Gaylord Nelson, Ellen Proxmire, and Alexander Shashko, "Revitalization of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in the Mid-20th Century"
2003 Judge Reena Raggi, "The Role of District Courts"
2004 Michael Traynor, "Citizenship in a Time of Repression"
2005 Sen. Russ Feingold, "Upholding an Oath to the Constitution: A Legislator's Responsibilities"
2006 Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow, "Thomas E. Fairchild: A Judge's Legacy"
2007 Judge Diane Wood, "Snapshots from the Seventh Circuit: Continuity and Change, 1966 to 2007”
2008 U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald, "Thoughts On How the Legal System Treats Jurors"
2009 Scott Turow, "It's Only Words:  Thoughts of a Lawyer and a Novelist"
2010 John Skilton, "Abraham Lincoln, A Lawyer for the Ages"
2011 Judge William K. Sessions III, "Federal Sentencing Policy: A Path For The Future"
2012 Professor Michael J. Zimmer, "Inequality, Individualized Risk and Insecurity"
2013 Judge William J. Bauer, "The War on Drugs"
2014 Collins T. Fitzpatrick, " Protecting the Fourth Amendment So We Do Not Sacrifice Freedom for Security"
2015 R. Nils Olsen, Jr., "All in the Family: A Legacy of Public Service and Engagement—Edward and Thomas Fairchild”
2016 William C. Hubbard, "Our Justice System at an Inflection Point"
2017 Judge Lynn Adelman, "The Erosion of Civil Rights and What to Do About It"
2018 Judge Robert Katzmann, "Civic Education and the Federal Courts"
2019 Professor Geoffrey R. Stone, "The Warren Court: A Fifty Year Retrospective"
2021 David Maraniss, "The McCarthy Era and its Echoes: A Story of Family, Journalism and the Search for Truth"

Digital Repository

Check out the UW Law School Digital Repository for more about past Fairchild Lectures »

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