News and Events
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Gave Inaugural William French Smith Memorial Lecture
Click here to view the complete discussion. Real Player required.
Pepperdine University School of Law welcomed Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and attorney Carter G. Phillips for the inaugural William French Smith Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, Aug. 7, in the Caruso Auditorium in Malibu. The lecture aired live on CSPAN 1.
The event included opening remarks by Ken Starr, the Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of Pepperdine's School of Law. Starr offered reflections on William French Smith, the 74th attorney general of the United States. He and Douglas W. Kmiec, Caruso Family Chair in Constitutional Law, served as moderators during the Alito and Phillips conversation on Supreme Court advocacy and deliberation.
Alito was nominated as an associate justice of the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. He took his seat on January 31, 2006. Alito received a B.A. from Princeton University in 1972 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1975. He served as a law clerk for Leonard I. Garth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 1976 to 1977. He was assistant U.S. attorney, District of New Jersey, 1977–1981; assistant to the solicitor general, U.S. Department of Justice, 1981–1985; deputy assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, 1985–1987; and U.S. attorney, District of New Jersey, 1987–1990. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 1990.
Alito previously visited the School of Law on September 11 to share his thoughts on the Constitution and issues facing the Supreme Court in honor of Constitution Day. He also participated in the University's memorial service for the fifth anniversary of 9/11.
The other principal lecturer, Carter G. Phillips, is the managing partner of the Washington, D.C., office of Sidley Austin, and is a member of the firm’s management committee. He served as a law clerk to both Judge Robert Sprecher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Chief Justice Warren E. Burger on the United States Supreme Court. Phillips served as assistant to the solicitor general for three years, during which time he argued nine cases on behalf of the federal government in the United States Supreme Court. Since joining Sidley, Phillips has argued 45 cases in the Supreme Court, for a career total of 54 appearances, and has argued more than 65 cases in other appellate courts. He received his undergraduate degree from Ohio State and a master’s and law degree, magna cum laude, from Northwestern.
Named in honor of the 74th attorney general, the William French Smith Memorial Lectures on Law and the Judiciary will be an ongoing tribute to Smith. Smith served as U.S. Attorney General from 1981 to 1985 and was a longtime friend and confidant of President Ronald Reagan.