COURTESY NINA PILLARD Nina Pillard, the newest addition to the D.C. Circuit.
Nina Pillard, the newest addition to the D.C. Circuit.

With the appointment of Cornelia “Nina” Pillard on Dec. 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court now has three former Georgetown University faculty members on its bench.
Pillard, who was nominated by President Barack Obama in June joins Judges Laurence Silberman and Arthur Raymond Randolph, who are both former Georgetown faculty, on the D.C. Circuit. Silberman, who was an Adjunct Professor of Administrative Law from 1987 to 1994 and from 1997 to 1999, was appointed to the D.C. Circuit by President Ronald Reagan in 1985.

“I love teaching at Georgetown, just as I’m sure JudgePillard does,” Silberman, currently a distinguished visitor from the judiciary at Georgetown Law who teaches both administrative law and labor law, said. “The Law Center is very conveniently located, as it is in close proximity to many important courts. In my years as a member of the faculty… it has been a wonderful experience.”

In addition to his teaching, Silberman received a Lifetime Service Award in 2006 and a Distinguished Service Award in 2007 from the Georgetown chapter of the Federalist Society.

Ties between the Law Center and area judges stretch back to the school’s inception in 1870, according to Law Center Associate Dean Peter Byrne.

“We want to expose our students to people who are making legislative decisions that impact our lives. It’s a terrific opportunity for students, as they often act as interns for these judges and get school credit for it,” Byrne said. “It’s hard to imagine a better place to go to law school than in the heart of Washington D.C.”

Randolph, who was appointed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, taught at the Georgetown Law Center from 1974 to 1978, specializing in civil procedure and injunctions.

Before joining the circuit, Pillard was the faculty director of the Law Center’s Supreme Court Institute where she most recently taught the seminar “Corporate Responsibility for Workers in the Global Supply Chain.” In being appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Pillard joins one of the most prestigious courts in the nation, as an appointment to the D.C. Circuit is often considered a stepping-stone for appointment to the Supreme Court. Four of the nine justices on the Supreme Court are alumni of the D.C. Circuit, including Chief Justice John Roberts.

The Yale- and Harvard-educated Pillard joined the faculty at Georgetown Law in 1997 before becoming Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. Pillard returned to Georgetown Law in 2000. She is the seventh woman to serve on the D.C. Circuit, and her arrival marked the first time women occupied five out of the 11 seats on its bench.

“Nina’s superb record as a leading Supreme Court advocate and legal scholar speaks for itself —she will make a remarkable appellate judge,” Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor said in a statement following Pillard’s confirmation in December. “Though we are sad to lose her, we are thrilled and proud to send her on to the D.C. Circuit, where the same traits that made her such a valuable asset on our campus will be put to use strengthening the pursuit of justice.”

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