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A Visit and Personal Talk with Justice O’Connor

United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Ret.) will visit Wake Forest for a program sponsored by the law school entitled "A Conversation with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor."  This will take place on Thursday, September 21, at 4:00 p.m. in Wait Chapel.  The program is a part of a series at the law school that brings role models in the legal profession to the University to discuss their professional lives.  Law Professor Suzanne Reynolds will interview Justice O’Connor about her early life, her role as a supreme court justice, and her retirement. 

Sandra Day O’Connor is the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States.  President Reagan appointed O’Connor to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court when Associate Justice Potter Stewart retired.  O’Connor was confirmed by the Senate 99-0, took her seat on September 25, 1981, and served until 2006.  During her tenure on the Court, Justice O’Connor was considered a conservative, yet she surprised some with her deciding votes.  She believes the Court’s position is to interpret the law, not to legislate it. 

Sandra Day was born in El Paso, Texas, on March 26, 1930, and grew up on a cattle ranch in Arizona.  She received a B.A. magna cum laude  from Stanford University and graduated with an LL.B. in two years from Stanford while serving on the Law Review.  She graduated near the top of her class, with former Chief Justice William Rehnquist graduating as the valedictorian.  O’Connor married John Jay O’Connor after law school, and they have three sons.

Before O’Connor was appointed to the Supreme Court she held positions as the Deputy County Attorney of San Mateo County, CA,  a civilian attorney for Quartermaster Market Center in Frankfurt, Germany, a private practitioner, and as Assistant Attorney General of Arizona.  O’Connor was appointed State Senator of Arizona in 1969 and was elected judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1975.  She held this position until her appointment to the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1979.

Justice O’Connor is a member of many civic boards, legal and professional associations, and is a woman of many interests.  She is an avid golfer and has scored a hole-in-one.  Please join our program on September 21 to learn more about Justice O’Connor and her outstanding career in the law.