Chief Judge of the Second Circuit Robert A. Katzmann to Deliver New York Law School’s Commencement Address on the School’s 125th Anniversary


New York, NY (May 4, 2016)—  Hon. Robert A. Katzmann, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, will deliver New York Law School’s Commencement address before an audience of approximately 2,700, including 302 graduates and their family members and friends on Friday, May 20, 2016 at Carnegie Hall.  Judge Katzmann will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his outstanding leadership in judicial service, legal scholarship, and vision in founding the Immigrant Justice Corps.  Receiving this year’s New York Law School President’s Medal will be Charles Phillips `93, Trustee and CEO of Infor, for his achievements in business, technology, and law.

This year is a milestone for the Second Circuit and New York Law School, as each celebrates their 125th anniversary with long histories that are intertwined.  This includes the service of both John Marshall Harlan II `24 and Roger Miner `56 who are two of New York Law School’s most esteemed alumni and who both served on the Second Circuit with great distinction.  Similarly, this year also marks a milestone for Carnegie Hall which is also celebrating its 125th anniversary. Carnegie Hall was the site of New York Law School’s first commencement in 1892.

“As we celebrate the achievements of this year’s class and the 125th anniversary of New York Law School, we also honor the achievements and contributions of Chief Judge Robert Katzmann and alumnus Charles Phillips,” said New York Law School’s Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell. “The distinctive careers of the 2016 commencement honorees reflect the range of possibilities that a legal education can provide to have a meaningful and lasting impact on society.  Each has excelled in his chosen profession, rising to the top of his field. Our two honorees personify so perfectly the Law School’s focus on the nexus between law and social justice, as well as innovation and technology.”

Judge Robert A. Katzmann has served as Chief Judge of the Second Circuit since 2013. At the time of his appointment to the Second Circuit in 1999, he was Walsh Professor of Government, Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University; a Fellow of the Governmental Studies Program of the Brookings Institution; and president of the Governance Institute.  He chaired the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on the Judicial Branch, serves as a member of the U.S. Judicial Conference, and is a commissioner on the Supreme Court Fellows Commission. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He was instrumental in the creation of the Immigrant Justice Corps, an initiative which New York Law School has supported and partnered with given our long history of engagement and service in community-based immigration law practice.

His books include: Judging Statutes; Regulatory Bureaucracy: The Federal Trade Commission and Antitrust Policy; Institutional Disability; Courts and Congress; editor and project director of The Law Firm and the Public Good; co-editor of Managing Appeals in Federal Court; editor and contributing author of Daniel Patrick Moynihan: The Intellectual in Public Life; and editor and contributing author of Judges and Legislators.

Judge Katzmann received the American Political Science Association’s Charles E. Merriam Award. Additional awards include: the Learned Hand Medal for Excellence in Federal Jurisprudence of the Federal Bar Council; the Chesterfield Smith Award of the Pro Bono Institute; the Stanley H. Fuld Award of the New York State Bar Association; the Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award of the American Immigration Lawyers Association; the Public Interest Scholarship Organization Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Green Bag’s “Exemplary Legal Writing” honoree recognition.

The President’s Medal is one of New York Law School’s highest honors and is presented to an outstanding graduate or leader who either through their exemplary professional career or generous philanthropic support has made a significant impact on the reputation of the School and its students.  Charles Phillips ‘93 was a student in the NYLS evening division as his star was rising on Wall Street. An Air Force Academy graduate, he used his exceptional training as a leader and innovator to have a significant impact in business, technology, and the law. He has served the Law School community, New York City, and the nation well, including most recently sharing his wisdom and vision which have helped shape the Law School’s new Innovation Center for Law and Technology.

As the Chief Executive Officer of Infor, the world’s third largest provider of enterprise software applications with 75,000 customers in 200 countries and territories,  Phillips is one of the most successful and influential men in the business of technology, renowned for his networking, negotiation, and closing skills. Prior to joining Infor, Phillips served as President of Oracle Corporation and on its Board of Directors. During his tenure, the company tripled in size and successfully acquired 70 companies. He also served as a Managing Director in the Technology Group at Morgan Stanley, where he was an Institutional Investor All Star for ten consecutive years. Before his 18-year career on Wall Street, Phillips was a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines artillery unit. In 2012, he was the guest speaker at the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday ball for his old unit, after their return from Afghanistan.

He also serves on the Boards of New York Law School, Viacom Corporation, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History, the United States Air Force Academy Endowment Fund, Posse Foundation, and his family foundation, Phillips Charitable Organizations. Phillips also served on the Obama Administration’s Economic Recovery Board, led by Paul Volcker.

Previous Commencement speakers include former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, U.S. Sen. Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), District Attorney of New York County Cyrus R. Vance Jr., Vice Chairman of the First Data Board of Directors Joe Plumeri, and New York City Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks.

New York Law School will graduate 285 candidates for the Juris Doctor (J.D.), 13 candidates for the Master of Laws (LL.M.), and 4 Masters of Mental Disability Law in 2016.

About New York Law School

Founded in 1891, New York Law School (NYLS) is an independent law school located in the heart of New York City’s legal, government, financial, and emerging tech centers. Known as “New York’s law school,” NYLS embraces the City as its classroom by complementing a rigorous legal education with an innovative and diverse set of “uniquely New York” experiential learning opportunities. Since opening its doors, NYLS has produced graduates who have gone on to hold high elected and appointed office in the City, lead large and small firms, and gain broad recognition as captains of business and industry. Its renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in key areas of the law, including business and finance; government and public interest; and intellectual property, media, technology, and applied sciences. NYLS has more than 17,000 graduates and currently enrolls approximately 900 students in its full-time, part-time, and Two-Year Honors J.D. programs. The Law School also offers an advanced-degree program in Tax Law.

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