skip to main content

ABA President-Elect to Deliver Northeastern Law Commencement Address ABA President-Elect to Deliver Northeastern Law Commencement Address

Judy Perry Martinez4.11.19 — Judy Perry Martinez, president-elect of the American Bar Association, will deliver  Northeastern University School of Law’s commencement address on Thursday, May 23, 2019. Martinez is of counsel at Simon, Peragrine, Smith & Redfearn in New Orleans. She previously served at the firm from 1982 to 2003 as a partner, member of the governing committee and commercial litigator. In 2003, she joined Northrop Grumman Corporation, where she served as assistant general counsel-litigation, managing litigation for the western half of the country before becoming vice president and chief compliance officer in 2011. She retired from Northrop Grumman in 2015 to become a fellow at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University, where she spent a year in residence.

At the ABA’s Midyear Meeting in February, Martinez called upon fellow members “…to trumpet the essential values of our democracy, so that practicing lawyers everywhere, and law students who will join our ranks, are proud to be members of the organization that stands up time and time again for the rule of law.”

A long-time active member of the ABA, Martinez served 26 years in the House of Delegates and has been chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, the Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services and the ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. In addition, she has served on the ABA Task Force on Attorney Client Privilege, the Council of the ABA Center on Diversity and the ABA’s World Justice Project Committee. She served as chair of the 170,000 member ABA Young Lawyers Division, as a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and chair of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence.

Martinez’s commitment to public service began years ago when she and other members of the Louisiana Bar undertook an effort to establish the New Orleans Pro Bono Project. She currently serves as a Distinguished Access to Justice Pro Bono Fellow for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. She also has chaired the New Orleans Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) Committee on Minority Involvement in its inaugural year, 1989, the LSBA Professionalism and Quality of Life Committee and the LSBA Post-Conviction Death Penalty Representation Committee.

Martinez has received many awards, including the Sam Dalton Capital Defense Advocacy Award from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Counsel in 1997, the Michaelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award from the Association of Women Attorneys in 1998 and the Alliance for Justice Award in 1999 from the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association. She was named the Outstanding Young Lawyer in the State of Louisiana in 1990 and the Louisiana Bar Foundation’s 2001 Distinguished Attorney. On two separate occasions, she has received the LSBA President’s Award and is the recipient of the 2012 Camille Gravel Public Service Award, a recognition by the Federal Bar Association’s New Orleans chapter to an attorney who has done substantial pro bono or public legal work. In 2017, she was honored with the David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award by the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Presidents’ Award by the New Orleans Bar Association.

Martinez earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of New Orleans before going on to receive her Juris Doctor, with honors, from Tulane University Law School.

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences. All students participate in full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 1,500 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. The future of legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.

For more information, contact d.feldman@northeastern.edu.