Charles Evans Hughes Lecture Series

News & Events | Event Recap


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

Past Speakers

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