ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Two United Stated federal district court judges from Pennsylvania have been selected to receive the American Inns of Court’s 2009 Professionalism Awards for the Third Circuit. The Honorable Joy Flowers Conti, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, and The Honorable Louis H. Pollak, Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, are the joint recipients of the award, which will be presented by the Honorable Anthony Scirica, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, at the Third Circuit Judicial Conference on May 5, 2009.
Third Circuit Professionalism Awards are presented to honor a senior practicing judge or lawyer whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession. Candidates are nominated through circuit-wide open nominations and selected by a distinguished panel of judges and representatives from the American Inns of Court.
Judge Pollak received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1943, magna cum laude, and his LL.B. from the Yale Law School in 1948, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Journal. After completing his undergraduate studies at Harvard, Pollak entered the U.S. Army in 1943, during World War II. Judge Pollak served as a law clerk to Justice Wiley Rutledge of the Supreme Court of the United States following graduation from law school. After completing his clerkship, from 1949 to 1951, Pollak worked at the law firm now known as Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He then served in the U.S. State Department as special assistant to Ambassador-at-large Philip C. Jessup until 1953. Thereafter, Pollak worked as assistant counsel for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. In 1955, Pollak joined the faculty of the Yale Law School, where he would remain until 1974. He served as dean from 1965 to 1970. In 1974, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania Law School, becoming dean the following year. In 1978, he left the University when he was appointed to the bench. Judge Pollak is still an adjunct member of the Penn Law faculty and teaches there regularly.
Judge Conti graduated from Duquesne University School of Law summa cum laude where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Duquesne Law Review. She was the first graduate of the law school to receive her degree summa cum laude. After graduating from law school, she served as a law clerk to a justice on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. She was the first woman to be hired by Kirkpatrick, Lockhart, Johnson and Hutchinson, now known as K&L Gates. She then accepted a position as a member of the faculty of the Duquesne Law School and eventually became a tenured professor of law. She returned to private practice at Kirkpatrick and Lockhart where she became a partner. She was named to the Best Lawyers in America while in private practice. Judge Conti later joined Buchanan Ingersoll as a shareholder. In 2002, she was appointed a United States District Court Judge. She is a former president of the Allegheny County Bar Association and was a co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Task Force on Legal Services for the Poor. She served as a governor of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. She is a fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy and is a member of the American Law Institute. Judge Conti is currently Counselor and a member of the Executive Committee of the W. Edward Sell American Inn of Court in Pittsburgh.
The American Inns of Court Foundation, America’s oldest, largest and fastest growing mentoring organization, presents Professionalism Awards at participating circuits nationwide. The awards are underwritten in part by Thomson-Reuters.
The American Inns of Court includes over 26,000 federal, state and local judges, lawyers, law professors and law students in over 350 chapters across the United States. Additionally, there are over 80,000 alumni members. More information is available at www.innsofcourt.org.