Brandeisians sworn in to bar of Supreme Court

Alumni traveled to Washington from across the country for the event

Front row (from left): Mark Fischer ’83, Debbie Berman ’87, Susan Cohen ’80, President Fred Lawrence, Philip Goldstein ’84 and Steve Rabinowitz ’83. Middle row (from left): Brian Paszamant ‘93, David Kerman ’79, Michael Zinder ’75, Janis Schiff ’80, David Bunis ’83 and Gary Wingens ’85, P’14. Back row (from left): Eric Stern ’78, Ralph Martin ’74, Doug Rosner ’88, Dennis Kelleher ’84 and Richard Schwartz ’83.

Sixteen Brandeis University alumni who are lawyers around the country were admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States in a ceremony on June 4, marking the first time a group of undergraduate alumni affiliated with a college or university were sworn in together at the country’s highest court.

After the court was gaveled into session, Brandeis President Fred Lawrence, a member of the Supreme Court bar since 1993, moved the admission of the group. Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg greeted the Brandeis contingent and their guests following the ceremony.

“This was an extraordinary moment for these distinguished members of the Brandeis legal community to be sworn in together and celebrate their special connection to our University’s namesake, Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, one of the true giants of American jurisprudence,” Lawrence said. “We hope to make this an annual tradition in which we recognize a group of alumni lawyers by moving their admission to the Supreme Court bar.”

Many law schools conduct group swearing-in ceremonies at the Supreme Court for their alumni, but court officials believe Brandeis is the first undergraduate institution to do so. Alumni traveled from as far away as California for the event.

After the ceremony, several dozen Washington-area alumni joined the group for a celebratory luncheon at the nearby Sewall-Belmont House. Lawrence and Daniel Terris, who directs the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis, discussed “Law and Justice at Brandeis.”

Alumni who were sworn in included Debbie Berman ’87, David Bunis ’83, Susan Cohen ’80, Mark Fischer ’83, Philip Goldstein ’84, Dennis Kelleher ’84, David Kerman ’79, Ralph Martin ’74, Brian Paszamant ’93, Stephen Rabinowitz ’83, Doug Rosner ’88, Janis Schiff ’80, Richard Schwartz ’83, Eric Stern ’78, Gary Wingens ’85, P ’14 and Michael Zinder ’75.

Three other lawyers who are already members of the Supreme Court bar also attended: Jules Bernstein ’57, David Coburn ’73 and Bert Foer ’66.

To be eligible for admission to the Supreme Court bar, lawyers must be a member of a sub-national bar for at least three years and obtain a certificate of good standing from the state, commonwealth, territory or possession where they practice.

For more information about participating in next year’s swearing-in, contact Erin Silva (781-736-3022 or

Categories: Alumni, General

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