SPEAKERS

David E. Bernstein
David E. Bernstein
Professor, Antonin Scalia School of Law

David E. Bernstein holds a University Professor Chair at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School. Professor Bernstein graduated from Yale Law School in 1991, clerked for the Honorable David Nelson of the Sixth Circuit, and worked as a litigator at Crowell & Moring before joining the Scalia Law faculty in 1995, where he teaches Evidence and Constitutional Law. 
 
Professor Bernstein has been writing about the admissibility of expert testimony since the late 1980s. He is co-editor of Phantom Risk: Scientific Inference and the Law, published by MIT Press in 1993, and is co-author of The New Wigmore: Expert Evidence, currently in its third edition. Professor Bernstein has also written a series of influential law review articles about expert testimony, including the article that motivated the Federal Rules Advisory Committee to amend Federal Rule of Evidence 702.

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Hon. Armando Bonilla
Judge, United States Court of Federal Claims

Armando O. Bonilla was appointed to the United States Court of Federal Claims by President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on February 17, 2022. Prior to his appointment, from 2018 to 2022, Judge Bonilla served as Vice President, Ethics and Investigations, for a Fortune 100 company in the financial services industry.


Judge Bonilla spent the majority of his career with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). He began his twenty-four-year career at DOJ in 1994 as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, where he represented the United States in trial and appellate court litigation before the Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Thereafter, from 2001 to 2010, Judge Bonilla served as a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section and in the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section. In those roles, Judge Bonilla investigated and prosecuted fraud and public corruption matters, as well as domestic and international money laundering schemes. Between 2010 and 2017, Judge Bonilla served as Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the U.S. Deputy Attorney General. He also served as Associate General Counsel for the U.S. Marshals Service from 2017 to 2018.

Judge Bonilla received a B.A. from West Virginia University in 1989, and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1992. Upon graduating from law school, Judge Bonilla served as a law clerk to the Honorable Garrett E. Brown, Jr., U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, from 1992 to 1994.


Judge Bonilla lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and their two children. Judge Bonilla serves on the Board of Directors of So Others Might Eat (SOME).

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Jon Burd
President, United States Court of Federal Claims Bar Association

Jon is a Partner in Wiley’s Government Contracts practice who counsels government contractors and subcontractors on a range of legal matters. He routinely handles complex government contracts disputes and earns praise from clients for his ability to quickly assimilate challenging technical issues involving weapons system, aerospace, and intelligence programs.

Jon regularly litigates contractor claims and bid protests before the Court of Federal Claims (COFC), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and federal agencies; conducts internal investigations involving allegations of contractor fraud or abuse and represents clients in response to Department of Justice (DOJ) and Inspector General (IG) subpoenas, suspension and debarment proceedings, and employee whistleblower claims; helps clients develop and maintain internal compliance and training programs; and advises buyers and sellers in mergers, acquisitions and other due diligence activities unique to government contractors.

Jon serves as the Firm’s Facility Security Officer and has unique experience advising government contractor and critical infrastructure clients on a range of cybersecurity and national security compliance issues and representing clients in investigations and litigation involving classified programs.

Jon has served as a member of the COFC Bar Association’s Board of Governors for ten years, including as President in 2022.

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A. Victoria Christoff
Professor, George Washington University Law School

A. Victoria Christoff is the Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Government Procurement Law Fellow at the George Washington University Law School. 

 

Professor Christoff began her legal career as a litigation associate at the D.C. office of Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius LLP. While there, Professor Christoff assisted with various civil cases, including bid protests before the United States Court of Federal Claims, investigations before the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and district court and appellate litigation before federal courts. Professor Christoff also maintained an active pro bono docket, including a successful asylum claim for her client from El Salvador.  


Professor Christoff then served as a law clerk for the Honorable Marian Blank Horn at the United States Court of Federal Claims. From there, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  


Professor Christoff graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 2011 and received her JD from the George Washington University Law School in 2015.  Professor Christoff’s research interests include Federal Circuit jurisprudence as well as international government procurement issues. She is particularly interested in the development of procurement markets in Latin America. 


Professor Christoff teaches an analytical writing seminar in the fall and a moot court class in the spring, which is an upper-level experiential course that covers the basics of appellate advocacy and that culminates in the annual GW Law & Arnold and Porter Government Contracts Moot Court Competition.  

Hon. Brian Corcoran
Chief Special Master, United States Court of Federal Claims

Brian H. Corcoran was appointed as a Special Master of the United States Court of Federal Claims on January 13, 2014. He graduated cum laude, with high honors in his major, from Dartmouth College in 1988. He received his J.D. in 1991 from the University of Virginia School of Law. He was designated Chief Special Master by the court to succeed Nora Beth Dorsey, effective October 1, 2019.

 

Mr. Corcoran is a seasoned trial attorney with experience in a wide variety of legal matters, including intellectual property, general commercial disputes, tax matters, and pro bono civil rights and employment discrimination actions. Until 2008, he was employed in the private sector, rising to the level of partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

From 2008 to 2014, Mr. Corcoran worked for the Department of Justice, Tax Division, as a trial attorney, where he obtained numerous permanent injunctions against fraudulent tax preparers and the promoters of illegal tax schemes across the United States.

Mr. Corcoran is admitted to the bars of New York and the District of Columbia, as well as numerous federal district courts.

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Hon. Bernice Donald
Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

The Honorable Bernice B. Donald received her law degree from the University of Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, a LLM from Duke University School of Law, and an honorary Doctors in Law from Suffolk University. Prior to being appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2011, she served on the U.S. District Court for over fifteen years.

 

Judge Donald is a member of the prestigious American Law Institute and the American Bar Association (“ABA”) including ABA sections; Judicial Division, Appellate Judges, Criminal Justice, Labor and Employment Law, Antitrust, Civil Rights and Social Justice, and Litigation, as well as the Center for Human Rights, where she chairs the Dignity Rights Project. She has served as Chair of the ABA Center for Human Rights and chaired a committee which published an implicit bias resource book for judges and practitioners titled, Enhancing Justice: Reducing Bias. Judge Donald served as Chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section, focusing on issues concerning implicit bias, children of incarcerated parents, mass incarceration, and the collateral consequences of incarceration.

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Katie John
Associate General Counsel, ABL Space Systems

Katie John is an Associate General Counsel at ABL Space Systems, a start-up that builds rockets to launch small space satellites. Katie oversees ABL’s government contracting legal and compliance functions.

 

Prior to ABL, Katie managed the public sector legal team at RingCentral, a publicly traded provider of cloud-based communication and collaboration enterprise products. Katie has also served as in-house counsel to Oracle and Amazon Web Services.  

 

Before moving in-house, Katie was a member of the government contracts departments at both McKenna Long & Aldridge and Baker Hostetler. There, Katie represented clients in all aspects of government contracts law, including protests, claims, investigations, and go-to-market counseling.  

 

Katie is active in the ABA’s Public Contract Law Section and has served as Co-Chair of the Section’s Intellectual Property Committee and Co-Chair of the 25th Annual Federal Procurement Institute. Katie has also served on the board of the Young Lawyers Division of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims Bar Association and is a current member of TechGC, an invite-only program for legal leaders at high-growth technology companies. 

 

Katie graduated with honors from The George Washington University Law School, where she served as Senior Articles Editor of the Public Contract Law Journal. While at GW, Katie actively participated in multiple moot court and trial advocacy programs and received the Excellence in Oral Advocacy Award from McKenna Long & Aldridge’s Gilbert A. Cuneo Government Contracts Moot Court Competition. Katie also served as a law clerk for the National Archives & Records Administration’s Office of General Counsel.   

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Hon. Elaine Kaplan
Chief Judge, United States Court of Federal Claims

Judge Elaine D. Kaplan was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims on November 1, 2013. On March 2, 2021, President Biden designated her as Chief Judge. Judge Kaplan joined the court after serving as the Acting Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Prior to being designated Acting Director in April 2013, she had served as OPM's General Counsel, a position to which she was appointed in 2009. Judge Kaplan began her legal career in the Solicitor's Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, first in the Employee Benefits Division and then in the Division of Special Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation. Between 1984 and 1998, she litigated and supervised the litigation of cases at all levels of the federal court system as an attorney at the National Treasury Employees Union, an organization to which she returned in 2004 as Senior Deputy General Counsel. In 1998, Judge Kaplan was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to serve a five-year term as the head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency whose mission is to protect the merit-based civil service.

From 2003 to 2004, Judge Kaplan was "of counsel" to Bernabei and Katz, a nationally recognized plaintiff's side employment law and civil rights firm. Judge Kaplan has appeared frequently at national and international conferences to speak on issues related to the merit-based civil service and whistleblower protection; she has authored several articles on these and related subjects. Between 2004 and 2011, she was a member of the adjunct faculty of American University's School of Public Administration, teaching graduate-level classes covering legal issues that arise in the context of public administration, with an emphasis on constitutional law. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Judge Kaplan earned a J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1979, and a bachelor's degree in history from the State University of New York in Binghamton in 1976.

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Kelly Krystyniak
Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice

Kelly Krystyniak is a trial attorney with the Department of Justice in the National Courts section. Kelly has extensive in-court experience, including 12+ appellate oral arguments, 50+ district court oral arguments, and several multi-week trials. Her practice focuses on defending the Government in procurement matters before the United States Court of Federal Claims and United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, including bid protests and appeals from denials of claims under the Contract Disputes Act. In addition to procurement matters, Kelly litigates before the United States Court of International Trade in New York City. Prior to joining DOJ, Kelly spent 5 years as an associate in the Government Contracts practice at a national law firm. She is a GW Law alum, graduating with honors in 2011. While at GW, Kelly took several classes focusing on procurement law and participated in the annual Government Contracts moot court competition, winning an award for ”Excellence in Oral Advocacy.” After nearly 15 years in DC, Kelly recently relocated to Kansas City, Missouri.

Hon. Carolyn Lerner
Judge, United States Court of Federal Claims

Carolyn N. Lerner was appointed to the United States Court of Federal Claims by President Biden on February 18, 2022. Judge Lerner joined the Court after serving for four years as the Chief Circuit Mediator for the federal courts in the District of Columbia Circuit.

In 2011, Judge Lerner was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, an independent law enforcement agency whose mission is to enforce the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Hatch Act, and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), as well as protect federal employees from prohibited personnel practices. She served in that position until 2017.

From 1997 until 2011, Judge Lerner was a partner in an employment and civil rights firm, Heller, Huron, Chertkof, Lerner, Simon & Salzman. While at the firm, she served as a federal court-appointed Special Master in a sexual harassment and retaliation class action. Judge Lerner is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School.

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Judge Lerner earned a J.D. from New York University School of Law where she was a Root-Tilden public interest scholar. After law school, she clerked for Chief United States District Court Judge Julian Abele Cook, Jr., in the Eastern District of Michigan. She earned a bachelor's degree from the Honors College at the University of Michigan, and as an undergraduate was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

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Jeff Lowry
Associate, Vedder Price

Jeffrey M. Lowry is an Associate in the Washington, DC office of Vedder Price where he represents government contractors before the United States Court of Federal Claims, as well as before the Boards of Contract Appeals and the Government Accountability Office. Prior to joining Vedder Price, Mr. Lowry was a trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice, National Courts Branch, where he represented the United States before the Court of Federal Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He was also previously a civilian trial attorney with the Air Force, representing the agency in contract disputes and bid protests. Mr. Lowry is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School where he was a member of both the Public Contract Law Journal and the Moot Court Board. 

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Joe McClure
Associate, Steptoe & Johnson

Joe is an Associate in the Complex Commercial Litigation group at Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. Joe graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2019 and, prior to joining Steptoe, clerked for Judge David Tapp at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Hon. Kristen Mix
Judge, United States Magistrate Judge, District of Colorado

Kristen L. Mix was appointed to the federal bench in 2007. In addition to serving as a full-time Magistrate Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, she has developed expertise in issues relating to access to justice, administration of the Magistrate Judge system in the federal courts, and diversity. Judge Mix’s extracurricular activities include helping to found the Colorado Intellectual Property American Inn of Court and implementing Local Patent Rules in the District of Colorado, creating a public-sector externship program which has resulted in placement of more than two hundred local, diverse law students in public-sector legal externships, and founding the Federal Pro Se Clinic in the District of Colorado’s Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse, which opened to better serve pro se litigants in June of 2018.

She is the Immediate Past President of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, an adjunct faculty member at the University of Colorado School of Law and University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and a frequent writer and speaker on the law.

Dave Owen
Professor, University of California, College of Law
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Lisa Reyes
Clerk of Court, United States Court of Federal Claims

Lisa Reyes joined the staff of the United States Court of Federal Claims Clerk’s Office in 1995 and served as Assistant and Staff Attorney to the Clerk of Court until 2003 when she was selected as Chief Deputy Clerk for Operations. In 2014, Ms. Reyes became the Chief Deputy Clerk of the court and served in this capacity until May 2016 when the court designated her as the Acting Clerk of Court. In August 2017, the court designated her Clerk of Court. Before joining the court, she worked for the Allegheny County Bar Association in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the law firm Jones, Gregg, Creehan and Gerace, LLP; and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. Ms. Reyes is an honors graduate of Carnegie Mellon University where she majored in industrial management and received her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

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Hon. Eleni Roumel
Judge, United States Court of Federal Claims

Judge Roumel was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims on February 24, 2020. She served as Chief Judge from October 19, 2020–March 2, 2021. She previously served as the Deputy Counsel to Vice President Mike Pence from 2018–2020. Prior to her tenure at the White House, she served from 2012–2018 as Assistant General Counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives Office of General Counsel. While serving in the House Office of General Counsel she advised and represented the U.S. House of Representatives, Members of Congress, and congressional staff in federal trial and appellate courts across the country.

 

Judge Roumel previously was a partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, in Charleston, South Carolina, and before that practiced at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, LLP in New York City. She also was an adjunct professor at the Charleston School of Law, where she taught intellectual property law. Judge Roumel served as a law clerk to the Honorable William H. Pauley III, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, from 2002–2004. 

Judge Roumel received her J.D., magna cum laude, in 2000 from Tulane Law School, where she graduated Order of the Coif and was an editor of the Tulane Law Review. Judge Roumel also received her M.B.A. from Tulane University's A.B. Freeman School of Business in 2000. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Wake Forest University in 1996.

Hon. David Tapp
Judge, United States Court of Federal Claims

On November 5, 2019, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of David Austin Tapp as Judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Prior to confirmation, Judge Tapp served 15 years as Judge of the 28th Circuit and District of the Kentucky Court of Justice. He holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, a Master of Science from Chaminade University of Honolulu, and a Bachelor of Arts from Morehead State University.

 

Judge Tapp is a frequent presenter and author on a wide variety of civil and criminal issues including court culture, judicial stress, court-targeted acts of violence, evidence, electronically stored information, and civil and criminal procedure. He previously served as a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, private counsel, and adjunct professor of law.

 

Judge Tapp’s efforts on a variety of justice-related issues have been well-recognized. In 2011, Judge Tapp received the “All Rise” Award from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals for his efforts related to funding issues for substance abuse treatment courts. Most recently, Judge Tapp’s drug court team became one of only 15 drug courts (out of 2,700 worldwide) to receive the NADCP’s Community Transformation Award for his team’s continuing efforts to provide meaningful substance abuse treatment. Judge Tapp was also the lead judge for Kentucky’s efforts to explore the use of extended-release injectable naltrexone as part of a comprehensive opiate treatment strategy.

Judge Tapp currently serves as a policy advisor to the 2020 RX Drug and Heroin Abuse Summit, the nation’s largest conference addressing opioid-related issues. Until his confirmation, he served on the U.S. Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention which reports to the President and Congress through the U.S. Department of Justice and provides advice regarding programming and intervention strategies for the nation’s justice-involved children.

 

Judge Tapp previously served six years as Chairperson of Kentucky’s Circuit Judges Education Committee where he directed the continuing education of all general jurisdiction and family court judges within Kentucky. He also acted as Kentucky’s Co-Chairperson of the Judicial Child Fatality Task Force which focused on awareness issues surrounding fatal and near-fatal events involving children within the judicial and child protective system, and as a member of Kentucky’s Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council, a statewide group tasked with evaluation of the Commonwealth’s justice practices.

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John Tateishi
Author of Redress: The Inside Story of the Successful Campaign for Japanese American Reparations

John Tateishi was born and raised in Los Angeles and, four months short of his third birthday, was among the 120,000 Japanese Americans forced from their homes and imprisoned in American-style concentration camps at the outbreak of World War II.

 

He carried that memory with him when, as Redress Chair of the Japanese American Citizens League, he launched the redress campaign in 1978 and formulated an initial strategy to educate the American public about the WWII incarceration. A central part of that effort was the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, which gave voice to Japanese Americans after thirty-five-years of silence and was a strategy that proved critical in the ten-year fight for passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which provided an apology from the President and Congress and monetary compensation to the victims of the internment.


Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, he brought the JACL onto the national stage when he publicly challenged the nation’s leaders who scapegoated the Arab and Muslim communities as the nation had done to Japanese Americans following the attack at Pearl Harbor. And in doing so, he upheld the redress campaign’s promise of “Never Again.”


He is the author of Redress: The Inside Story of the Successful Campaign for Japanese American Reparations and an earlier book, And Justice for All. Among his many recognitions, was the 2007 recipient of The Spendlove Prize on Social Justice, Diplomacy, and Tolerance.


He lives with his wife in Northern California.

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Jessica Tillipman
Asst. Dean for Government Procurement Law Studies, George Washington University

Jessica Tillipman is the Assistant Dean for Government Procurement Law Studies and Government Contracts Advisory Council Professorial Lecturer in Government Contracts Law, Practice & Policy. She also teaches Anti-Corruption & Compliance, a course that focuses on anti-corruption, ethics, and compliance issues in government procurement.

 

Prior to joining GW Law, Dean Tillipman served as a law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence S. Margolis of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and was an associate at Jenner & Block, where she specialized in Government Contracts and White Collar Criminal Defense.

 

Dean Tillipman is a Senior Editor of the “The FCPA Blog”—a leading Foreign Corrupt Practices Act resource on the internet. She has also published numerous articles that address legal and policy issues involving anti-corruption, government procurement, white-collar crime, and government ethics law.

 

Dean Tillipman is also a co-chair of the American Bar Association, International Anti-Corruption Committee, a Faculty Advisor to the Public Contract Law Journal, and an Advisory Board member of The Government Contractor. She frequently organizes and presents at domestic and international government procurement and anti-corruption conferences and colloquia, and her legal commentary has been featured in numerous domestic and international media outlets.

 

Dean Tillipman is a member of the bars of the United States Court of Federal Claims, the state of Virginia, and the District of Columbia. She graduated cum laude from Miami University (Oxford, OH) in 2000 and obtained her JD, with honors, from the George Washington University Law School in 2003.

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Adi Williams
Associate, Litigation Group, Fish & Richardson P.C.

Adi Williams graduated summa cum laude from New York Institute of Technology with his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and graduated from the University of Southern California with his Master’s in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, specializing in Computation Fluid Dynamics.  He then attended and earned his J.D. doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.


After graduating from Georgetown, he served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Susan G. Braden of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the Honorable Pauline Newman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 


Adi is currently an associate in the litigation group in the Washington, D.C., office of Fish & Richardson P.C.  His practice focuses on all aspects of intellectual property litigation and advising, both at the trial and appellate level. 

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Hon. Mary Ellen Coster Williams
Judge, United States Court of Federal Claims

Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims on July 21, 2003. From 1989 to 2003, she served as an administrative judge on the General Services Board of Contract Appeals. She was in private practice as a partner with Janis, Schuelke and Wechsler from 1987 to 1989, and as an associate with Schnader, Harrison, Segal and Lewis from 1979 to 1983, and Fulbright and Jaworski from 1977 to 1979. Judge Williams served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. from 1983 to 1987.

 

Judge Williams has served on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, as chair of the ABA’s Section of Public Contract Law, and in the ABA House of Delegates. She also served the Bar Association of D.C., including as the Foundation President and Chair of the D.C. Young Lawyers Section.

 

Judge Williams is a frequent lecturer on civil litigation and mediation and is an adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law and Johns Hopkins University’s Advanced Academic Program for Law and Government.

 

Judge Williams received a B.A. summa cum laude in Latin and Greek and an M.A. in Latin from Catholic University before attending Duke Law School, where she served on the Law Journal.

Amber Wilson
PhD, JD, Wilson Science Law