Dean Christopher Edley Jr. has been named the inaugural holder of the Honorable William H. Orrick Jr. Distinguished Chair in Legal Ethics and the Legal Profession.
Established by longtime U.S. District Court judge William H. Orrick ’41, with a $1 million gift in 1998, the Orrick Chair supports research, teaching and public activities associated with legal ethics and the profession.
A San Francisco native, Orrick went on to have a distinguished legal career after graduating from Boalt. He served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and returned to private practice until he was appointed to the U.S. District Court, Northern District, by President Richard Nixon in 1974
Orrick presided over many high-profile cases, including one that granted female students the same broad protection from sexual harassment in schools as in the workplace. He also ordered the San Francisco Unified School District to stop using race as a factor in assigning students to schools.
Orrick retired in 2002, and died a year later at the age of 87.
Edley joined Boalt Hall as dean in 2003, having distinguished himself as a national leader in civil rights law and public policy on the faculty at Harvard Law School and in the Carter and Clinton administrations. He is the first African-American dean to lead a top-ranked U.S. law school. Edley will hold the chair for five years.
The Orrick Chair is one of 36 endowed chairs established at the law school.