Judge Sotomayor to deliver virtual speech at law school conference

The former Supreme Court justice is due to speak at a YLS conference today.

03:56, 04 November 2022

Staff reporter

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Yale Law School will host SCOTUS Justice Sonia Sotomayor LAW ’79 for a virtual conversation on November 4.

The conference will close the two days of law school conference honoring the fortieth anniversary of YLS Professor Judith Resnik’s article “Managerial Judges”, which continues to impact civil procedure today. While Sotomayor will join virtually, the conference will be hosted in person at the law school and will feature speakers from the legal profession. His appearance will follow a round table and three panels.

“Former students who are now law professors reached out to say they wanted to tag the article I wrote decades ago now,” Resnik wrote to the News. “I am so honored by everyone who participates. For anyone who cares about justice and equality, I recommend reading Justice Sotomayor’s opinions and we all look forward to her comment tomorrow.

Panelists will discuss topics ranging from “The Future of Arbitration” to “Managing Cases, Lawyers and Issues”. Speakers will include serving and former federal judges, practicing attorneys and law professors.

“I hope the timing and the discussion will highlight the challenges of accessing and using the courts – state and federal – and the critical role judges play in making access to legal remedies available – or not,” Resnik wrote.

Other notable speakers at the event include California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu and New York University Law School Dean Troy McKenzie.

Professor Resnik’s article, ‘The management judges…reframed the way those of us who study courts and litigation understand and debate the civil justice system,” McKenzie wrote to the News. “This conference is an opportunity to examine how the terms of the debate have evolved since the publication of the article forty years ago.

“Managerial Judges” was originally published in the Harvard Law Review in 1982. The article discusses the growth of “managerial” styles of judging, whereby judges increasingly meet with parties in chambers to discuss aspects of cases . The article has been hugely influential in court research.

After publication, Resnik held teaching positions at NYU, the University of Chicago, Harvard University, and eventually Yale Law School. Resnik has been the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School since 1997.

“Professor Resnik’s procedural scholarship has inspired and informed generations of lawyers, students and scholars,” said panelist Alex Reinert, a professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. “It is an honor to be included in an event centered on his seminal work on managerial judgment.”

The event is sponsored by the Yale Law School Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund, which provides students and faculty with support and funding to produce research, projects, and lectures that “foster intellectual vitality, creative and analytical rigor in law school”.

Sotomayor was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2009, becoming the first Latina to serve on the nation’s highest court.


Ines Chomnalez covers Yale Law School. She is a sophomore at Pierson College majoring in history and cognitive science.

Jon J. Epps