University of Pittsburgh

Commencement 2013 Speaker


On December 21, 2010, President Obama signed a Commission, naming Judge Susan Richard Nelson as United States District Court Judge for the District of Minnesota. Judge Nelson previously served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the District of Minnesota for 10 years. Prior to her service on the bench, Judge Nelson was in private practice for 17 years with the Minneapolis law firm, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, litigating complex civil matters in state and federal court. From 1994 to 1998, she served on the trial team representing the State of Minnesota and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota against the tobacco industry.

Judge Nelson graduated from Oberlin College in 1974 with high honors and from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1978. Upon graduation from law school, she worked as an associate with the Reed Smith law firm in Pittsburgh from 1978 - 1980 and with the New Haven law firm of Tyler, Cooper and Alcorn from 1980 - 1983 before she moved to Minneapolis in 1983.

Judge Nelson has received numerous awards and honors, including the Bar Association's Judicial Professionalism Award and Minnesota Women Lawyers' Myra Bradwell Award, and was selected as a leading Minnesota Lawyer (Super Lawyer) every year from 1995 until she was appointed to the bench in 2000.

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