Theodore B. Olson has been selected to receive the 2010 Fordham-Stein Ethics Prize. Olson will accept the prize at a dinner in New York on Oct. 27. He is the 35th recipient of this national honor, bestowed by Fordham Law School’s Stein Center for Law and Ethics, which recognizes one individual each year whose work, according to the prize’s charter, “exemplifies outstanding standards of professional conduct, promotes the advancement of justice, and brings credit to the profession by emphasizing in the public mind the contributions of lawyers to our society and to our democratic system of government.”
Olson served as the 42nd Solicitor General of the United States from 2001 to 2004. He was nominated by and served in the administration of President George W. Bush. Currently, he is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C. office and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Appellate and Constitutional Law Group and the firm’s Crisis Management Team.
“Ted Olson is a champion for the basic American principles outlined in our Constitution,” said Michael M. Martin, interim dean of Fordham Law School. “He has demonstrated this throughout his career in his representation of various clients, including our country. He is a superb honoree.”
Before his service as Solicitor General, Olson served as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1981 to 1984. Except for those two intervals, he has been a lawyer with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. since 1965. Throughout his career, Olson has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He has written and lectured extensively on appellate advocacy, oral advocacy in the courtroom and constitutional law.
In July 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Olson to serve as a member of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a public-private partnership charged with providing nonpartisan, practical assessments and recommendations to improve agency procedures and operations.
Olson received his bachelor’s degree cum laude from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where he received awards as the outstanding graduating student in both journalism and forensics, and his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a member of the California Law Review and Order of the Coif.
Named after prominent Fordham Law alumnus Louis Stein, Class of ’26, the Stein Prize recognizes the positive contributions of the legal profession to American society.
“The Stein Center, which sponsors the prize, has become synonymous with the thoughtful discussion of law and ethics in the scholarly community and among members of the bar,” said Interim Dean Martin. “We are forever grateful to the members of the Stein family for their commitment to upholding this important tradition.”
Olson joins a list of recipients that includes seven members of the U.S. Supreme Court, including Chief Justices William H. Rehnquist and Warren E. Burger, as well as three lawyers who have served as Secretary of State. Past recipients have included Robert B. Fiske, Jr., former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York; William T. Coleman, Jr., fourth U.S. Secretary of Transportation; Griffin Bell, 72nd U.S. Attorney General; and Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.