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2014 Alumni Weekend to Honor Supreme Court Justices

Yale Law School alumni from around the world will reunite on October 23-26, 2014 in New Haven for a weekend filled with a diverse array of activities, from festive meals to alumni/faculty panel discussions on the Weekend’s theme of “Judging.” The panel discussion topics will include “Advocacy, Arguments, and Persuasion: Four Views of the Cathedral,” “Judging Across Borders and Around the World,” “Picking Judges,” “The Least Dangerous Branch,” and “Courts on Trial: Judging and its Alternatives.”

Watch the Livestream

The centerpiece of the Weekend will take place on Saturday, October 25 in Woolsey Hall when the Award of Merit is presented to the three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court who graduated from Yale Law School: Justices Clarence Thomas ’74, Samuel A. Alito, Jr. ’75, and Sonia Sotomayor ’79. Dean Robert C. Post ’77 will present the award followed by a conversation with the three Justices moderated by Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law Kate Stith. The event will not be open to the public, but a livestream will be available.

The Award of Merit recognizes alumni or long-time faculty of Yale Law School who have made a substantial contribution to public service or to the legal profession. Previous recipients of the Award have included Secretary Hillary Clinton ‘73, David Boies II ’66, and former Dean Harold Hongju Koh.

Justice Thomas was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush, and, after serving for 16 months, was nominated by President George H. W. Bush as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He took his seat in October 1991.

Justice Alito was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President George H. W. Bush in February 1990. He was confirmed and seated in April 1990. President George W. Bush nominated Justice Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court on October 31, 2005; he was confirmed by the Senate in January 2006.

Justice Sotomayor was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush and later, from 1998 to 2009, served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, having been nominated by President Bill Clinton. In May 2009, President Barack Obama nominated her to the High Court and she was sworn in on August 8, 2009.

Other highlights of the Weekend are the class reunion dinners and brunches, a student organization fair, a matching student/alumni breakfast, an all alumni dinner and luncheon, class activities, and time to explore New Haven and rediscover familiar haunts. Click for a full list of activities.

For the first time this year, alumni interested in meeting with students from the Law School’s varied affinity groups are invited to a Diversity Reception for all groups, followed by individual Affinity Group Dinners, where each group will honor a distinguished Law School graduate. Click here for more information.

To register for Alumni Weekend online, click here. The Early Bird Registration deadline ends Friday, September 5.