Charles J. Ogletree, Jr.

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Charles Ogletree, "the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Vice Dean for the Clinical Programs, is a prominent legal theorist who has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law. ...

"Professor Ogletree earned an M.A. and B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School where he served as Special Projects Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Law Review...

Professor Ogletree is formerly "of Counsel" to the Washington, D.C. firm of Jordan, Keys & Jessamy.

Professor Ogletree is the author of the forthcoming book, All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education, published by W.W. Norton & Company, to be released in April of 2004 ( He is the co-author of the award-winning book, Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct in Minority Communities, and he frequently contributes to the Harvard Law Review, among other publications...

"In 1991, Professor Ogletree served as Legal Counsel to Professor Anita Hill during the Senate Confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas. His reflections on those experiences are contained in The People vs. Anita Hill: The Case for Client-Centered Advocacy, a chapter of the book, Race, Gender and Power in America. He was profiled in an article in The American Lawyer entitled, Tree Time. More recently, Professor Ogletree was prominently featured in award-winning author Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot's compelling book, I've Known Rivers, and in a Boston Globe magazine article entitled, Faith in the System.

"In 2003, he was selected by Savoy Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Blacks in America and by Black Enterprise Magazine, along with Thurgood Marshall, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., and Constance Baker Motley, as one of the legal legends among America's top black lawyers. In 2002, he received the National Bar Association's prestigious Equal Justice Award. In 2001, he joined a list of distinguished jurists, including former Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan, and civil rights lawyers Elaine Jones and Oliver Hill, when he received the prestigious Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit from the Washington Bar Association. He also held the Wayne Morse Chair of Law and Politics at the University of Oregon Law School and was a Scholar in Residence at Stanford University. In 2000, Professor Ogletree was selected by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America. He has received numerous awards, including the National Conference on Black Lawyers People's Lawyer of the Year Award, the Man of Vision Award from the Museum of Afro-American History in Boston, the 1993 Albert Sacks-Paul A. Freund Award for Teaching Excellence at Harvard Law School, and in 1995, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor and The Ruffin-Fenwick Trailblazer Award named in honor of the first African-American man and woman to graduate from Harvard Law School. In 1996, the National Bar Association honored him with its Presidential Award for The Renaissance Man of the Legal Profession. He was also awarded the International House of Blues Foundation Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award, The Justice Louis Brandeis Medal for Public Service, and the 21st Century Achievement Award from the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts...

"Professor Ogletree also serves as the Co-Chair of the Reparations Coordinating Committee, a group of lawyers and other experts researching a lawsuit based upon a claim of reparations for descendants of African slaves, along with Randall Robinson, co-author of The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks.

Professor Ogletree has a long record of commitment and service to public schools and higher education. He completed ten years of service to his alma mater, as a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees, and for five years served as the national Chairman of the Stanford Fund, the University's principal fund raising organization. Professor Ogletree's development activities have also raised substantial funds for Harvard Law and the UDC, where he currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia, a land grant and historically black college and university. He continues to serve as the Chairman of the Board of the B.E.L.L. Foundation, which is committed to educating minority children in after school programs in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. In addition, Professor Ogletree served as one of the founding members and trustee of the Benjamin Banneker Charter School in Cambridge, a school that provides educational opportunities in math, science and technology to minority children in a public school setting. Professor Ogletree attended public schools in his hometown of Merced, California, and has set up a scholarship fund there that now annually provides support for needy students who want to pursue higher education. He has also provided scholarship support for students at Harvard Law School, Stanford University, and the University of the District of Columbia.

"Professor Ogletree has been married to his fellow Stanford graduate, Pamela Barnes, since 1975. They are the proud parents of two children, Charles Ogletree III and Rashida Ogletree. The Ogletree's live in Cambridge and are members of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church." [1]

Resources and articles


  1. Biography, Harvard, accessed July 8, 2007.
  2. Trustees, Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed September 24, 2008.
  3. Faculty Advisory Board, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, accessed August 7, 2009.