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Justice Clarence Thomas Gives the Second Annual William French Smith Lecture
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justice clarence thomas

The Honorable Clarence Thomas, associate justice of the United States, gave the second annual William French Smith Memorial Lecture at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California, on Friday, Sept. 5.

Justice Thomas spoke in conversation with Charles R. Eskridge (SOL '90) a partner with the commercial litigation law firm of Susman Godfrey L.L.P., and Shelley Ross Saxer, the associate dean for academics at Pepperdine University School of Law. The conversation was moderated by Ken Starr, Former Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, former U.S. Solicitor General, and the Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of the School of Law.

The William French Smith Memorial Lectureship Series on Law and the Judiciary was inaugurated on August 7, 2008, with a lecture featuring Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and attorney Carter G. Phillips. The $1.6 million-endowed lecture series is named in honor of William French Smith (1917-1990) the 74th Attorney General of the United States, who served on Pepperdine's Board of Visitors. The lecture feature prominent speakers to the school to discuss issues of law, the judiciary, and public policy. The third lecture will bring retired justice Sandra Day O'Connor to Pepperdine on March 27, 2009.

For more information and to watch the video, visit the William French Smith Lectures Web site.

About Clarence Thomas
Justice Thomas was born in the Pinpoint community of Georgia near Savannah on June 23, 1948. He married Virginia Lamp on May 30, 1987 and has one child, Jamal Adeen by a previous marriage. He attended Conception Seminary from 1967-1968 and received an A.B., cum laude, from Holy Cross College in 1971 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1974. He was admitted to law practice in Missouri in 1974, and served as an assistant attorney general of Missouri, 1974-1977; an attorney with the Monsanto Company, 1977-1979; and legislative assistant to Senator John Danforth, 1979-1981. From 1981-1982 he served as assistant secretary for civil rights, U.S. Department of Education, and as chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1982-1990. From 1990-1991, he served as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. President Bush nominated him as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat October 23, 1991.