Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Justice Liu of the California Supreme Court to Speak at Commencement Ceremony February 20, 2014
Justice Liu of the California Supreme Court to Speak at Commencement Ceremony

The Honorable Goodwin Liu, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California, will deliver the keynote address at Southwestern's 99th Commencement Ceremony on May 18, 2014 at the Shrine Auditorium. He will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the ceremony.

In her announcement, Dean Susan Prager said, "As a distinguished jurist, legal educator and scholar, Justice Liu will be a wonderful commencement speaker, and we are honored to have him address our new graduates."

Justice Liu was appointed to the California Supreme Court in 2011 by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. Before joining the state's highest court, Justice Liu was Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). His primary areas of expertise are constitutional law, education law and policy, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has published widely on these subjects in books, law reviews, and the general media.

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Justice Liu grew up in Sacramento and completed his bachelor's degree in biology at Stanford University in 1991. He attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship and earned a master's degree in philosophy and physiology. Upon returning to the United States, he went to Washington D.C. to help launch the AmeriCorps national service program and worked for two years as a Senior Program Officer at the Corporation for National Service.

After graduating from Yale Law School in 1998, Justice Liu clerked for Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then worked as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, where he developed and coordinated K-12 education policy. He went on to clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the October 2000 term. In 2001, he joined the appellate litigation practice of O'Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C., and worked on an array of antitrust, white collar, insurance, product liability and pro bono matters.

In 2003, Justice Liu was appointed to the law faculty at Boalt Hall. He earned tenure and was named Associate Dean five years later. In 2009, he received UC Berkeley's Distinguished Teaching Award and the graduating class selected him as the faculty commencement speaker.

Justice Liu is a prolific and influential scholar whose articles on constitutional law and education policy have been published in the California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, NYU Law Review, Stanford Law Review, and Yale Law Journal, among others. His 2006 article, "Education, Equality, and National Citizenship," won the Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Education Law, conferred by the Education Law Association.

Justice Liu serves on the Council of the American Law Institute. He previously served on the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Excellent Education, the American Constitution Society, the National Women's Law Center, and the Public Welfare Foundation. He has also served as a faculty advisor to the California College Prep Academy, a public charter school co-founded by UC Berkeley and Aspire Public Schools.