Brett Dignam Joins Columbia Law School Faculty


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September 12, 2008 (NEW YORK) – Brett Dignam, a clinical professor of law at Yale Law School and a leading advocate for prisoners, will join the Columbia Law School faculty. 
Professor Dignam has been on the faculty at Yale Law School since 1992, where she has led the Prison Legal Services, Complex Federal Litigation and Supreme Court Advocacy clinics.

“Professor Dignam brings remarkable talent to bear in her advocacy and teaching,” said Dean David M. Schizer. “She will add extraordinary strength to our thriving clinical programs.”

An award-winning teacher, Professor Dignam has supervised students in a broad range of litigation matters and has designed and overseen workshops conducted by students for prisoners at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut on issues including immigration, sexual assault, and exhaustion under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. She has participated in major litigation in more than 30 federal and state cases in the area of prisoners’ rights. 

Before entering the legal academy, Professor Dignam served as a law clerk for the Honorable William H. Orrick, U.S. District Court in San Francisco, California, and then developed a prison litigation practice in both federal and state courts. She also served as an attorney in the Criminal Appeals and Tax Enforcement Policy Section, Tax Division, in the Department of Justice, from 1990 to 1992.

Professor Dignam is one of 22 faculty who have joined Columbia Law School since Dean Schizer became dean in 2004. This cohort of distinguished scholars enhances the breadth of the Law School’s research capabilities and curriculum and offers greater opportunities for interaction between faculty and students. Professor Dignam’s appointment begins in July 2010.

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law.