Patricia Wald

Judge, Politician

1928 –


Who is Patricia Wald?

Patricia McGowan Wald is an American judge. Wald served as the chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and served as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. She currently serves as a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and on the Council of the American Law Institute.

Wald graduated from Connecticut College in 1948 and earned her law degree from Yale Law School in 1951. Following her graduation, she clerked for judge Jerry Frank for a year; during that year, Frank ruled on the appeal of the espionage conviction of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. She briefly entered private practice, only to leave for a number of years to help raise her five children.

Wald returned to the legal profession full-time in 1968, working in the field of public interest law for a decade. A Democrat, she served as Assistant Attorney General for legislative affairs during much of the Carter administration before being appointed by Carter to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on April 30, 1979. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 24, 1979, and received her commission on July 26, 1979. She remained on the court until 1999 and served as its chief judge from 1986 to 1991.

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Sep 12, 1928
  • Yale Law School
  • Connecticut College

on July 23, 2013


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