Graduation News: 2024 Willis L.M. Reese Prize and Speakers

Dean Gillian Lester shares updates about this year’s graduation speakers. The ceremony takes place Monday, May 13.

Dear Members of the Columbia Law School Community,

As we prepare to celebrate Columbia Law School’s graduating Class of 2024 on Monday, May 13, I am delighted to share with you the honorees who will address this year’s graduates.

This year’s student speakers are Jonathan Elliot Gliboff ’24 (J.D.) and Sharon Matongo ’24 (LL.M.).

Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Betts Professor of Law and a director of the Center for Constitutional Governance, will receive this year’s Willis L.M. Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Bulman-Pozen is an expert on administrative law and constitutional law and has written extensively about federalism. Prior to joining Columbia Law in 2012, she served as attorney-adviser in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. This is the second time Bulman-Pozen has been recognized with this award—she also received it in 2015. Students praise her as personable and passionate, “deeply kind,” with a “rare combination of scholarly brilliance and teaching ability.”

The keynote address will be delivered by Kristen Clarke ’00, assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. Clarke began her career as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division through the Department of Justice’s Honors Program before joining the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She went on to serve as the head of the Civil Rights Bureau for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where she led broad civil rights enforcement actions, and as president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice. Clarke received an A.B. from Harvard University. 

I look forward to hearing from this esteemed lineup of speakers, and I know you are as excited as I am to celebrate the exceptional Class of 2024. Stay tuned for additional information about graduation, including more details about the ceremony and other activities. In the meantime, save the date for Monday, May 13, 2024.

Gillian Lester
Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law