January 29, 2014 -- On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, UCLA School of Law welcomed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the law school. During her day-long visit, she shared stories about her life before joining the Supreme Court and provided students with words of wisdom on how to achieve their own goals.
Justice Sotomayor’s visit included a Q&A conversation with students, which was moderated by Dean Rachel F. Moran. Justice Sotomayor, who is the third woman and the first Latina to sit on the Supreme Court, described her diverse career as a prosecutor, a federal judge and an appellate judge as well as her work in private practice before her appointment to the bench. To a packed audience—with a broadcast of the discussion into an overflow room of people—Justice Sotomayor offered students a glimpse into her formative years, described the experiences that shaped her as a lawyer and jurist and called on students to seek their own professional destinies. She recalled some of the obstacles she surmounted in order to get where she is today, including personal challenges that she writes about in her best-selling memoir, My Beloved World. Her book chronicles a remarkable journey from a housing project in the south Bronx, to Princeton and Yale Law School and then to life as an attorney.
“We are extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to welcome Justice Sonia Sotomayor to UCLA School of Law, and we are grateful that she took the time to share her knowledge and insights with our students and the UCLA Law community,” Dean Rachel F. Moran said. “Justice Sotomayor’s fascinating discussion of her journey to the bench is motivational, and her ongoing commitment to encouraging others to pursue their dreams is an inspiration. I know that our students will always remember her historic visit.”
In addition to the Q&A session, another highlight of the day for UCLA Law students was Justice Sotomayor’s visit to Professor Jonathan Varat’s Federal Courts class, where she observed a discussion on the issue of standing. She also met with student leaders throughout the day to learn about the innovative work going on at UCLA Law and to recognize their commitment to excellence and service.