Academics & Research / Magazine Feature

Sturm College of Law to host visit by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will speak at the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law on Aug. 26.

United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will visit the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law on Aug. 26, 2010. Sotomayor will speak at 1 p.m. to more than 200 high school and college undergraduates and an array of legal scholars, law students, community leaders, and members of the public about her life experiences.

“All of us in the DU Law community are thrilled by the justice’s visit and by this opportunity to host a forum with her for area students,” says Sturm College Dean Martin Katz. “Not only will students learn from this opportunity to hear the justice speak, they also will be invited to ask her questions about her experiences on the bench and in life.”

Catherine Smith, associate dean of institutional diversity and inclusiveness at Sturm, says the event will benefit hundreds of area students.

“It is rare for anyone, including lawyers, to have the opportunity to ask a sitting Supreme Court justice questions about his or her life experiences and the challenges and rewards of pursuing a career in law and public service,” Smith says. “It is priceless for Denver area students, the future leaders of Colorado, to have this experience.”

DU is co-hosting the event with the Colorado Campaign for Inclusive Excellence (CCIE), a nonprofit dedicated to increasing diversity in the legal profession. Working together, the University and the CCIE are partnering with a host of agencies, corporations and schools to reach young people from diverse backgrounds and encourage them to pursue law careers. The program aims to make Colorado’s legal community more diverse, inclusive and representative of the state and region.

“Justice Sotomayor is such an inspirational figure to young people who dream about becoming lawyers and having a positive impact in their communities,” says Kathleen Nalty, an attorney and executive director of the CCIE. “It is so exciting that she accepted our invitation to speak with young people in the Denver community who will be inspired to follow her lead — to go to college and law school and become attorneys and judges one day.”

Sotomayor, 56, was born in Bronx, New York. She earned a bachelor’s degree in 1976 from Princeton University and earned her law degree at Yale Law School. She served as assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979–1984 then worked in private practice until 1992. Sotomayor then accepted a post at the U.S. District Court’s southern district of New York, serving there until 1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the second circuit from 1998–2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009; she took the bench Aug. 8, 2009.

Tickets will be extremely limited. For more information, contact Jessica Neumann, Jessica.Neumann@du.edu.

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