Judge Cornelia T.L. Pillard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will be the featured speaker at the UConn School of Law commencement on May 20, 2018.
She was appointed to the appeals court in 2013, having served in the offices of the Attorney General and the Solicitor General, worked at the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP, and served as a member of the Georgetown Law faculty. An accomplished Supreme Court advocate, she argued eight cases before the nation’s highest court.
Pillard graduated from Yale College in 1983 and Harvard Law School in 1987. After graduation, she served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Louis H. Pollak from 1987 to 1988 and held the Marvin M. Karpatkin fellowship at the American Civil Liberties Union from 1988 to 1989. From 1989 to 1994 she was assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
She served as an assistant to the solicitor general of the United States from 1994 to 1997, when she joined the faculty at Georgetown Law. She served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel from 1998 to 2000, returned to Georgetown Law, received tenure, and served from 2008 to 2009 as inaugural academic co-director and professor at the Center for Transnational Legal Studies, a London-based, Georgetown-led law study program conducted in collaboration with law schools from many different countries.
Pillard was an active member of the Georgetown Law Supreme Court Institute from its founding in 2003, and became its faculty co-director in 2011. She was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars during 2012 and 2013. Pillard remained a full professor at Georgetown Law until her appointment as a U.S. Circuit judge. She and her husband and children live in Washington, D.C.