“Justice Sotomayor” – A View from Columbia Law School

Posted on May 27th, 2009 by Katherine Franke

Sonia Sotomayor, nominated by President Obama to the U.S. Supreme Court, has taught a course on Federal Appellate Court advocacy at Columbia fsotomayoror several years.  While President Obama’s adjunct teaching job at the University of Chicago is often cited as one of his credentials, little mention has been made of Judge Sotomayor’s teaching experience.  Hmmm.

Students who have taken her course at Columbia have raved about her, her willingness to mentor them, push them, and take them seriously.  Here are excerpts from student evaluations of her course:

– Judge Sotomayor is extremely accomplished, interesting and knowledgeable.  She is one of the top judges at the 2nd Circuit, and to get to sit in a class with her and just a handful of students is an incredible experience.

– Judge Sotomayor is an amazing judge, and person, and I feel privileged to have had a chance to learn from her.

– Judge Sotomayor is clearly brilliant and it’s great to be in class with her. She is really exceptional. It is interesting to hear the principles she applies to appellate adjudication. This was the best class I have taken at Columbia.

– As a student of the law, I found Judge Sotomayor’s lectures to be very interesting–she can offer a viewpoint of the law from the perspective of a prosecutor, a private litigator, a district court judge, and an appellate court judge.

– Judge Sotomayor really seems to enjoys teaching this class—and mentoring young lawyers generally—and it shows in her enthusiasm and preparation. This class is one of the great privileges of Columbia law school.

Columbia’s Dean for Social Justice Programs, Ellen Chapnick, was on CNN this morning talking about Judge Sotomayor as a friend and colleague, link here.


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