Campus News

First U.S. secretary of education will deliver this year’s Edith House Lecture

Shirley Mount Hufstedler, the first U.S. Secretary of Education and one of the first women to serve on the federal bench, will deliver the School of Law’s 26th Edith House Lecture. The address, to cover the availability of federal judicial review for prisoners incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, will be held March 19 at 3:30 p.m. in the School of Law’s Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom. The lecture is open to the public.

Hufstedler is considered a trailblazer for women in the field of law as she has held positions at the highest levels of legal and public service in the U.S. She began her legal career in private practice in Los Angeles in 1950 and, from 1960 to 1961, served as a special legal consultant to the attorney general of California in the Colorado River litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1961, she was appointed as judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court and, in 1966, she was named an associate justice of the California Court of Appeal. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed her judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1968, where she served for 11 years before President Jimmy Carter named her the first U.S. Secretary of Education.  In 1981, Hufstedler returned to private life, teaching and practicing law as a partner in the Los Angeles firm Hufstedler and Kaus, now Morrison and Foerster. Hufstedler earned her law degree from Stanford University and her bachelor’s in business administration from the University of New Mexico. She is also the recipient of 20 honorary doctoral degrees from various American universities.

The Edith House Lecture Series is hosted annually by the Women Law Students Association in honor of one of the first female graduates of the UGA School of Law. House, a native of Winder, was co-valedictorian of the law class of 1925, the first class to graduate women.