Judge Nancy Gertner was appointed to the United States District Court by President Clinton in 1994, and served on the federal bench until her retirement in 2011, when she joined the faculty of Harvard Law School.
Gertner received her Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College in 1967 and received an M.A. and a J.D. from Yale University in 1971. She was nominated to the U.S. District Court by President Bill Clinton on October 27, 1993 and confirmed by the Senate on February 10, 1994. Prior to her appointment, Gertner was in private practice in Boston, Massachusetts, and was most well known for her work as a criminal defense and civil rights lawyer. As both a judge and a private attorney, her career has been marked by controversial cases including abortion, race as a factor in jury selection, and the constitutionality of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Judge Gertner has received numerous awards for her judicial excellence, including becoming, in 2008, only the second woman ever awarded the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities (Justice Ginsburg was the first). She has written and spoken widely on various legal issues concerning civil rights, civil liberties, employment, criminal justice and procedural issues, throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.