Spirit of the Law

Hon. Dorothy Wright Nelson, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
March 12, 2015 | 12:30 PM-1:20 PM
USC Gould School of Law, Room 103 | Lunch Provided
RSVP: http://bit.ly/1DMCj2u​

The Honorable Dorothy Wright Nelson is currently a senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a U.S. federal court covering the nine western states. Nelson began her professional career as a research associate at the University of Southern California Law School where she received her Master of Laws in 1956. Nelson became Dean of the University of Southern California Law School in 1969 and holds the honor of being the first woman dean of a major American law school. Nelson is a member of the Baha’i Faith and served on its National Assembly for 40 years. While at USC, she served as the Baha’i representative on the University Religious Council.

President Carter nominated Nelson for the position of judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1978, with the U.S. Senate confirming her in 1979. She has worked to popularize mediation in U.S. Courts and in such countries as India, Egypt, Israel, Great Britain, and China. In 1985, Nelson, along with a group of attorneys and judges, established the Western Justice Center Foundation. The Foundation has created numerous programs that are designed to teach peaceful conflict resolution to children, youth, parents, teachers, administrators and community members. Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

The Spirit of the Law Series features legal professionals discussing how they find meaning, purpose, and identity in the law; how they use their law degrees in creative and innovative ways; and how they connect the personal and the professional in their lives.

Organizing Sponsors: USC Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics and USC Office of Religious Life
Cosponsors: USC Dornsife Pre-Law Advising and USC Jewish Law Students Association

The USC Levan Institute engages students with the timeless values at the core of our humanity, promotes moral reflection and understanding of self, facilitates multidisciplinary dialogue, and encourages students to make a positive impact across society and the globe.

University of Southern California
Contact: Dr. Lyn Boyd-Judson, Director


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