In the last installment of our SCOTUS shortlist way back when feature, we bring you two Stanford law professors who have made their reputations on campus. Unlike some of the other contenders for the nomination, politics and business have played little role in the careers of Kathleen Sullivan and Pamela Karlan.
Kathleen Sullivan, Stanford Law professor
Alumna: Harvard Law School, 1981
- A close colleague/mentee of Lawrence Tribe, who was her professor in her 2L year, and who enlisted her to work on various appellate cases with him.
- Won the Ames Moot Court Competition, an annual upper level competition at Harvard.
- A recipient of numerous fine teaching awards, including the Sacks-Paul A. Freund Award for Teaching Excellence at Harvard.
- Became the first female dean of any of Stanford's schools when she was appointed dean of the law school in 1994. She left that position in 2004 to found the Stanford center on constitutional law. (Stanford)
- During her deanship, she created Stanford's LLM program.
- She failed the California bar exam in 2005, after being hired by Quinn Emanuel to start an appellate practice group. She passed the Feburary 2006 exam.
- She supported Hillary Clinton via a donation during the Democratic primary. (Campaignmoney.com)
- She is openly gay.
- For a video of Sullivan and beleaguered Professor John Yoo of Berkeley hashing out the relevance of the Rehnquist court (Sullivan more than holds her own), click here.
Pamela Karlan, Stanford Law professor
Almuna: Yale Law School, 1984
- Formerly taught at the University of Virginia.
- Took a job as Assistant Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund out of law school.
- Moved to Stanford after Virginia Law. There she became the founding director of Stanford's Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.
- Also the faculty advisor to Stanford's chapter of the American Constitutional Society.
- Has a Facebook group created to support her addition to the SCOTUS shortlist. (Facebook)
- She is openly gay.
- A very well-regarded commencement speaker, whose remarks at graduations at both Yale and Stanford have been disseminated across the web with bloggers calling her "funny," "scary smart," "clever," and "inspiring." Excerpts below.
"You’re not facing a choice between being a public interest lawyer or being a sellout. Truly great lawyers take both paths from the fork. They use their gifts to give back to the community, as well as to take care of themselves and the people they love. They make corporations more responsible. They prosecute crime. They pave the road for new technologies to bring life-saving and life-enhancing products to the market. They defend the accused. They remember a wonderful insight from one of my favorite poets and readers of poetry, Randall Jarrell: "If we judge by wealth and power, our times are the best of times; if the times have made us willing to judge by wealth and power, they are the worst of times." The best of times .... the worst of times. Rather than quoting more from A Tale of Two Cities, – “it is a far, far better thing” and all that – let me point to the opening sentence of David Copperfield. It goes like this: "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show." The pages of the briefs you file and the memoranda you write and the opinions you publish in F.5, or whatever we’re at when you become judges, should be a part of making your own life heroic." - Yale Law commencement, 2007 (.pdf)