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October 30th Speaker Series with CA Supreme Court Justices

From Yale to the Supreme Court of California: A Conversation with California Supreme Court Justices Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Leondra R. Kruger and Goodwin H. Liu.

Please join us for the next installment of YCSF’s Speaker Series. Yalies and California Supreme Court Justices Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar (Yale Law School ’97), Leondra Kruger (Yale Law School ‘01) and Goodwin Liu (Yale Law School ‘98) will discuss the impact that Yale has had on their career paths and the work they do today on the highest court in the State of California.

Cocktail reception with heavy appetizers, red and white wine and non-alcoholic beverages: 5:30 - 6 pm

Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 pm

Q&A from the Audience: 7 - 8 pm 


UC Hastings College of the Law
Louis B. Mayer Lounge
200 McAllister St., 
San Francisco, CA 94102 

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Learn more about the Justices below:

Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar

Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar began serving on the California Supreme Court in January 2015. Previously, he was the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law, Professor (by courtesy) of Political Science, and Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.

A Stanford faculty member since 2001 and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cuéllar is a scholar of public law and institutions whose books and articles explore problems in administrative law and legislation, cyberlaw and artificial intelligence, criminal justice, public health, immigration, international law and security, and the history of institutions. Between 2004 and 2015, he also held leadership positions at the Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford’s principal institution for research and education on international affairs. As Director, Cuéllar supervised twelve centers and programs focused on international security and cooperation, governance and development, health and environmental policy, and graduate and undergraduate education. He grew the Institute’s faculty, expanded Stanford’s role in nuclear security research, launched initiatives on global poverty and cyber security, and increased opportunities for student and faculty research abroad.

While on leave from Stanford, Cuéllar worked at the White House as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy (2009-2010). In this capacity, he led the Domestic Policy Council staff responsible for civil and criminal justice, public health law and policy, and immigration; negotiated bipartisan public health and criminal sentencing reform legislation; and worked to enact the repeal of the military's Don't Ask/Don't Tell policy. He also led the Presidential Transition Task Force on Immigration (2008-2009), and later, co-chaired the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission (2011-2013). After joining the court, he led the California judiciary’s Language Access Task Force (2015-2019). He serves on the boards of Harvard University (the President & Fellows of Harvard College), the Hewlett Foundation and the American Law Institute, and chairs the boards of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, AI Now, and Stanford Seed.

A naturalized U.S. citizen born in Northern Mexico, Cuéllar graduated from Calexico High School in California’s Imperial Valley. He received a B.A. from Harvard magna cum laude, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford. He began his career at the U.S. Treasury Department and clerked for Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is married to Judge Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Associate Justice Leondra R. Kruger

Immediately before joining the court, Justice Kruger served in the United States Department of Justice as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. From 2007 to 2013, she served in the Department as an Assistant to the Solicitor General and as Acting Deputy Solicitor General. During her tenure in the Office of the Solicitor General, she argued 12 cases in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the federal government. In 2013 and in 2014, she received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Department’s highest award for employee performance.

Justice Kruger had previously been in private practice, where she specialized in appellate and Supreme Court litigation, and taught as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

A native of the Los Angeles area, Justice Kruger attended high school in Pasadena. She received her bachelor’s degree with high honors from Harvard College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal. Following graduation, she served as a law clerk to Judge David S. Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and to Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court.

Associate Justice Goodwin H. Liu

Justice Goodwin Liu is an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. He was confirmed to office by a unanimous vote of the California Commission on Judicial Appointments on August 31, 2011, following his appointment by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. on July 26, 2011. The Governor administered the oath of office to Justice Liu in a public ceremony in Sacramento, California on September 1, 2011.

Before joining the state’s highest court, Justice Liu was Professor of Law at the UC 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, where he attended public schools. He went to Stanford University and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1991. He attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship and earned a masters 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.

Justice Liu graduated from Yale Law School in 1998, becoming the first in his family to earn a law degree. He clerked for Judge David Tatel on 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.

Justice Liu is a prolific and influential scholar. He has published articles on constitutional law and education policy 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 is also a popular and acclaimed teacher. In 2009, he received UC Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the university’s most prestigious honor for individual excellence in teaching. He earned tenure at Boalt Hall in 2008 and was promoted to Associate Dean. The Boalt Hall Class of 2009 selected him as the faculty commencement speaker.

Justice Liu serves on the Council of the American Law Institute, on the Board of Directors of the James Irvine Foundation, and on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Technology, and Law. He has previously served on the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and the board of directors of the American Constitution Society, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Public Welfare Foundation. In 2008, he was elected to the American Law Institute. 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.

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