Deborah L. Rhode was the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and the Director of the Center on the Legal Profession. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Yale College and received her JD from Yale Law School. She clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1979.
She was the founding chair of the Section on Leadership of the Association of American Law Schools and was the founding president of the International Association of Legal Ethics, a former president of the Association of American Law Schools, a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, a former founding director of Stanford’s Center on Ethics, a former director of Stanford’s Institute of Research on Women and Gender, a former director of Stanford’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship, and a former trustee of Yale University. She worked as counsel to the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton.
She was the nation’s most frequently cited scholar on legal ethics, the author of 30 books in the fields of professional responsibility, leadership, and gender, law and public policy. She received the American Bar Association’s Michael Franck award for contributions to the field of professional responsibility; the American Bar Foundation’s W. M. Keck Foundation Award for distinguished scholarship on legal ethics, the American Foundation’s Distinguished Scholar award, the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for her work on expanding public service opportunities in law schools, and the White House’s Champion of Change award for a lifetime’s work in increasing access to justice.
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