The Sixteenth Donahue Lecture
“Justice – A Universal Responsibility”
April 18, 1985
The Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson
Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
The Honorable Dorothy Wright Nelson received herA.B. (1950), Phi Beta Kappa, and her J.D. (1953) from the University of California, Los Angeles. She subsequently earned her LL.M. in 1956 from the University of Southern California Law Center.
In addition to the private practice that she engaged in from 1954 to 1980, Judge Nelson joined the faculty of the University of Southern California Law Center in 1957. She became a full professor in 1967, and later served as Dean from 1969 to 1980.
In 1970, Judge Nelson was named Co-Chairman of the White House Conference on Children by President Nixon. She also was appointed by President Ford to the Board of Visitors of the United States Air Force Academy, and served on this Board from 1976 to 1978. Prior to her appointment to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Carter on February 1, 1980, Judge Nelson served the Carter Administration as a member of the President’s Commission on Pension Policy.
Judge Nelson has been a member and chairman of various legal and judicial associations. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Lustman Fellow of Yale University. From 1972 to 1979, she was Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Education in Judicial Administration. She served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Judicature Society from 1979 to 1981, having been the Society’s Vice President from 1977 to 1979. Additionally, she was the Chairman of the Association of American Law Schools’ Committee on Education in Judicial Administration (1976-1980) and the National Vice President of the Order of the Coif (1974-1976).
Judge Nelson’s publications include Judicial Administration and the Administration of Justice (1975) and a chapter of Women Lawyers, Perspectives on Success (1984).