On Nov. 8, 1948, the Board of Directors of the New York Country Lawyers' Association (NYCLA) established the Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Lecture. Hughes Hubbard assumed sponsorship of the lecture series in 2007.
The Series was instituted by NYCLA to honor Justice Hughes for his "devotion to the betterment of the law and the maintenance of its supremacy," and "for his service as President of our Association where he endeared himself to us by his fine qualities of mind and heart, and as an inspiration to the members of our profession whose high ideals and noble traditions he upheld and strengthened throughout his long and distinguished career."
Few lawyers in the first half of the 20th century had a more distinguished career or a greater impact on the evolution of law and public policy. Charles Evans Hughes's service as Governor of New York State, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, presidential candidate, Secretary of State, Judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice and Chief Justice of the United States reflected a lifelong dedication to the legal profession. Justice Hughes served as NYCLA's eighth president from 1919-1921, leaving to serve as United States Secretary of State upon his appointment by President Warren G. Harding. In 1930, Justice Hughes received his appointment as Chief Justice from President Herbert Hoover.
Chief Justice Hughes was reluctantly unable to attend the dedication ceremonies on May 26, 1930 because the Supreme Court was in session, but sent a message that President William Nelson Cromwell read to the gathering.
In that message the Chief Justice illuminated the highest aspirations of the organized bar and the legal profession:
“As books and office furniture do not make a lawyer, so a library and reception halls do not make a bar association. The significance of such an association is found not merely in a common technique, but in the reinforcement of the standards of sound learning, loyalty to the law and fidelity to trust, and the readiness for expert public service, which have given a peculiar dignity to the profession of the law.” Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes
For more than half a century, the men and women who have delivered the Charles Evans Hughes Lecture have embodied those aspirations.
The series has had speakers from the highest levels of the profession including U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
2015 - Hon. Jonathan Lippman 2014 - Loretta E. Lynch 2013 - James R. Silkenat 2012 - Hon. Judith S. Kaye 2011 - Hon. Denny Chin 2010 - Preet Bharara 2008 - Hon. José A. Cabranes 2007 - Kenneth C. Frazier 2005 - Robert MacCrate 2003 - Hon. John S. Martin 2000 - Hon. Seth Waxman 1999 - Dean Kristin Booth Glen 1998 - Hon. Joseph M. McLaughlin 1997 - Dean David W. Leebron 1996 - Dean Rudolph C. Hasl 1995 - Dean Joan G. Wexler 1994 - Hon. Jack B. Weinstein 1993 - Dean Harry H. Wellington 1992 - Dean Lance Liebman 1991 - Prof. Curtis Berger 1990 - Dean John D. Feerick 1989 - Dean John E. Sexton 1988 - Dean Monroe E. Price 1987 - Hon. Andrew J. Maloney 1986 - Hon. Frederick A.O.Schwarz Jr. 1985 - Dean Norman Redlich 1984 - Dean Patrick J. Rohan 1983 - Prof. Benno C. Schmidt Jr. 1982 - Dean Albert J. Rosenthal 1981 - Hon. Lawrence H. Cooke 1979 - Dean Harry H. Wellington 1977 - Dean Monrad G. Paulsen 1975 - Dean Joseph M. McLaughlin 1974 - Dean Michael I. Sovern 1973 - William T. Gossett 1972 - Dean Robert B. McKay 1971 - Hon. Shirley M. Hufstedler 1970 - Whitney North Seymour 1969 - Hon. Sheldon S. Cohen 1968 - Hon. J. Edward Lumbard 1967 - Hon. Charles S. Desmond 1965 - Dr. Russell D. Niles 1964 - Prof. Leon Lipson 1963 - Hon. Henry J. Friendly 1961 - Prof. Paul A. Freund 1960 - Hon. John Clark Knox 1958 - The Right Hon. Lord Nathan, T.D. 1956 - Hon. Harold Medina 1954 - Hon. Arthur T. Vanderbilt 1952 - Hon. John T. Loughran 1951 - Hon. Bernard Shientag 1950 - Dean Roscoe Pound