Nancy Gertner

King Richard II.  Judge Gertner has served on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts since 1994.  Prior to her appointment, she had a 20-year career as a lawyer, first at Silverglate & Gertner and later at Dwyer, Collora & Gertner, and was celebrated for her work as a criminal defense attorney and civil rights activist.  She was described by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of the “Most Influential Lawyers of the Past 25 Years.”  Judge Gertner retired from the bench in September 2011 to join the faculty of Harvard Law School.  While serving on the federal bench, Gertner taught for more than 10 years as a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School, focusing on American sentencing and comparative sentencing law.    Judge Gertner has lectured both nationally and internationally and has participated in numerous educational and reform initiatives in the former Soviet Union, Turkey, Israel, China, Cambodia and Liberia.  In 2008, she became the second woman, after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to receive the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, for both her career as a lawyer and as a judge. Most recently, she received the National Association of Women Lawyers’s highest award (the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award) in July of 2012.  Judge Gertner shares her experiences as a trial lawyer in her memoir, In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate, which was released on April 26, 2011.  Her book, The Law of Juries, co-authored with attorney Judith Mizner, was published in 1997 and updated in 2010.  Judge Gertner is a graduate of Barnard College and received a JD from Yale Law School and an MA in political science from Yale University.   Judge Gertner returns to the Shakespeare and the Law program after boffo performances as Portia in The Merchant of Venice, the Chorus in Henry V, Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and Isabella in Measure for Measure in which she successfully repelled the romantic advances of then Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf (as Angelo).