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Visiting Professor Pamela Harris Confirmed to Fourth Circuit

July 29, 2014 —

Georgetown University Law Center Visiting Professor Pamela Harris has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

“Pamela Harris’ record of public service and her knowledge of the judiciary is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor. “She brings remarkable credentials to the job, and the same qualities that made her such a tremendous asset on our campus will be put to good use strengthening the pursuit of justice.” 

President Barack Obama nominated Harris to the 15-member court on May 8, 2014. In a statement released that day, Obama said, “Throughout her career, Pamela Harris has shown unwavering integrity and an outstanding commitment to public service.” 

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) also praised Harris on the Senate floor before the vote to advance her nomination to the full U.S. Senate. “When it comes to Supreme Court litigation, I must tell you I don’t think Ms. Harris has an equal as far as her qualifications,” he said. “I want to emphasize this: She is a person who brings – we all bring our views and our passions to life, but she understands what the judiciary is all about.” 

Harris served as principal deputy to the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy from 2010 to 2012. Prior to that, she was the executive director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown Law. She returned to the Law Center in 2012, and in addition to her role as visiting professor, serves as senior adviser to the Supreme Court Institute. 

Until 2009, Harris was a partner and then of counsel at the law firm O’Melveny & Myers, where she was a member of the Supreme Court and appellate practice, specializing in public interest litigation.

Harris has been a lecturer at Harvard Law School and co-director of Harvard’s Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy Clinic. Before joining O’Melveny, she taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. From 1993 to 1996, she worked in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. She served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and Judge Harry T. Edwards of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Harris earned her J.D. from Yale Law School. 

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