The Institute of Judicial Administration (IJA) at NYU School of Law, founded in 1952, is dedicated to the continuing education of judges and to serving as a non-partisan, non-ideological forum for the study of ideas on improving the administration of justice. 

IJA began the Oral History of Distinguished American Judges to memorialize the thoughts and contributions of the men and women who make the US judiciary the bulwark of freedom. Judges are known by their opinions, but they are human beings who reflect their education, career, and philosophy in their work. This project goes beyond their written opinions to consider also their shaping influences and philosophical views of the judicial role.

Each interview is professionally produced and transcribed, with an accompanying annotated transcript, and (subject to interviewee consent) is made publicly available online through IJA and NYU School of Law. Together, the body of interviews will serve as a valuable and definitive resource on the American judiciary, not just for legal scholars, but for all who are interested in our system and the quality of the women and men who make it work.  It will also provide a unique resource for the study of judges of extraordinary ability and impact on our system.

The launch of this project was made possible in part by generous support from the Comfort Family Foundation and an anonymous gift in memory of Helen Ann Bryman.

To make a tax-deductible contribution in support of the IJA Oral History project, an academic and civic resource, please contact Project Manager Allison Schifini at 212.992.6289 or email You can also visit our secure website  to donate using a credit card. Please be sure to put the amount in the “Other Designation” field and specify “Institute of Judicial Administration Oral History Project”.