The Honorable Samuel A. Alito, Jr., associate justice of the United States, spoke on "Lawyering and the Craft of Judicial Opinion Writing" at the School of Law on Wednesday, July 30, to a crowd of more than 200 students, alumni, law professors, journalists, judges, and special guests. Watch a video of the conversation here.
Justice Alito was joined by The Honorable Michael W. McConnell, United States Appellate Judge for the Tenth Circuit; The Honorable Walter E. Dellinger III, former United States Solicitor General; Pepperdine School of Law dean and former Solicitor General Ken Starr; and Professor Douglas W. Kmiec, former United States Assistant Attorney General (OLC).
Judicial opinion writing is a craft rarely studied comprehensively in law school or in practice despite its importance. According to Kmiec, "This conversation with a distinguished member of the High Court, an acclaimed legal scholar turned appellate judge, and two prominent law teachers, both of whom have represented the United States and private clients, was a unique opportunity to rectify this oversight."
The distinguished speakers discussed standards of excellence in legal reasoning and how the law's coherence is principally advanced or impeded in opinion writing.
The conversation will air nationally on C-SPAN on Saturday, August 2. Visit C-SPAN for more information.