Some of you may know me as one of three judges on TRIBUNAL JUSTICE and before that on CBS Television Distribution’s Emmy-nominated show HOT BENCH created by Judge Judy Sheindlin. But long before my TV career, I was delving into problems in the corridors of public and private sectors with some of the country’s top minds.
I am civil litigator by trade and I love what the law can do for people. When I was a student at Yale Law School, I represented low-income women in family law cases and served as a teaching assistant in Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure courses. I also worked at the Office of White House Counsel, the Civil Rights Division in the United States Department of Justice and private law firms. I got to do some things that truly expanded my horizons as a lawyer, like assisting President Clinton’s personal lawyers with press interviews, working on the preparation of Congressional testimony for pending product liability legislation and researching First Amendment issues (I have a passion for the First Amendment!).
After I graduated from law school, I worked as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Dorothy Wright Nelson on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Nelson has been one of the most important professional influences on my life, and has been an incredible friend and mentor to me.
I received a Bristow Fellowship after my clerkship, and worked at the Office of the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice. While working there, I had the opportunity to draft Supreme Court briefs and to help prepare the Solicitor General for oral argument before the High Court. (Among the cases on which I worked was Clinton v. Jones, where I assisted both the Solicitor General and President Clinton’s personal attorneys in preparing for oral argument.)
In private practice, my work spanned a broad variety of matters, from civil litigation involving public and private entities, to various constitutional cases, to providing constitutional cases, to the provision of business counseling and advice. Pro bono work has always been important to me, and I was very proud to receive the ACLU’s First Amendment Award for my successful representation of a group of homeless individuals against the City of Santa Barbara.
I received my B.A. degree from Howard University (H.U. You Know!) and while there I won a Luard Scholarship (awarded by the English Speaking Union) which allowed me to study at St. Anne’s College at Oxford University. I loved traveling before that experience and I’ve loved it even more since then.
I like to stay busy and to be involved. You can see some of the organizations and causes that are important to me on the scroll below.
I am very glad you are here!
TANYA ACKER | Attorney, Author, Host
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