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CM: Anything But Moot (Profile of Nina Pillard)

Just a few blocks from the Supreme Court, in downtown Washington, D.C., on the first floor of the Georgetown University Law Center, there is a scaled-down version of the Court’s hearing room. It may not have the Spanish marble walls, but it does have a similar arrangement of white columns and crimson draperies behind a polished wood dais for its justices, a smaller version oft he same Seth Thomas clock on the wall, virtually the same carpet and a similar set of warning lights built into a podium that is exactly the same distance away from the panel as in the actual court.

Eight to ten times a year, Cornelia T.L. “Nina” Pillard ’78 takes a seat on the bench at the Georgetown Supreme Court Institute. With a handful of other lawyers she presides over intense practice sessions conducted for the benefit of attorneys preparing to advocate their cases before the Supreme Court. In the last year, 78 of these moot courts were conducted, including one for at least one side of every case that appeared before the court.

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