Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Visits Law Center
John Paul Stevens, a retired U.S. Supreme Court associate justice, addressed an audience of about 300 Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Shepard Broad Law Center students and faculty and staff members at the Law Center on February 8, 2011. This marks the second time Stevens has visited the NSU campus in five years.
Students posed questions on a broad range of legal issues such as the Supreme Court case load, the value of oral advocacy in court, and the political nature of the Congressional approval process for Supreme Court nominees. Stevens shared his judicial philosophies and insights with the students. In speaking on oral arguments, he indicated that while justices usually have their minds made up before hearing arguments, a justice's mind or approach to a case can definitely change through the process. When asked what contributed most to his success in law school, Stevens said it was "the great faculty and students." "It's an incredible honor for us," said Athornia Steele, NSU Law Center dean. "His visit helps highlight the Law Center's commitment to students by providing a connection to the bench and bar. This was an opportunity for the students to learn more about the Supreme Court from a justice of the Court." Stevens served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from December 19, 1975, until his retirement on June 29, 2010. At the time of his retirement, he was the oldest member of the Supreme Court and the third-longest-serving justice in the Supreme Court's history. He was nominated by President Gerald Ford to replace the longest-serving justice, William O. Douglas. Prior to that, he served as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He also served as second vice president of the Chicago Bar Association and was a member of the Attorney General's National Committee to Study Antitrust Law.