GW Law Names 2021 Diploma Ceremony Speaker

Portrait of Michael Hausfeld
April 20, 2021

Michael Hausfeld, JD ’69, a groundbreaking human rights lawyer and one of the top civil litigators in the United States, will deliver the keynote address at GW Law’s Diploma Ceremony on Sunday, May 16, 2021. 

“I am absolutely delighted that Michael Hausfeld has agreed to join us as we celebrate the Class of 2021,” said GW Law Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew. “His participation will enrich the day for our entire community and, most importantly, will celebrate and honor the achievements of our outstanding graduates.”

The chairman and founder of Hausfeld LLP and a graduate of GW Law’s Class of 1969, Mr. Hausfeld is renowned for his historic achievements driving social reform on a national and global scale. He has achieved many trailblazing class action victories in the fields of civil and human rights, discrimination, and antitrust law. Mr. Hausfeld was one of the first lawyers in the United States to declare that sexual harassment was a form of discrimination prohibited by Title VII, and he tried the first case establishing that principle. He also successfully represented Holocaust victims whose assets were wrongfully held by Swiss banks during World War II, victims of abuses under apartheid law in South Africa, and Native Alaskans facing environmental threats after the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Widely recognized throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Hausfeld has earned a spot on the elite Lawdragon 500 more than ten times and was named a Lawdragon Legend in 2019. The US Legal 500 called him “a titan of the antitrust bar,” and he was included among The National Law Journal’s “Top 100 Influential Lawyers in America.” In addition to his many professional awards, Mr. Hausfeld has gained widespread acclaim for striving to make the world a better place, receiving the B’nai Brith Humanitarian of the Year Award, the Simon Wiesenthal Center Award for Distinguished Service, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Human Spirit Award.

A longtime, dedicated GW Law volunteer and philanthropist, Mr. Hausfeld has steadfastly supported the law school through the years—serving as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, an adjunct professor, hiring GW Law students as interns at his firm, and helping to secure a $5.1 million cy pres award to endow the Center for Competition Law at GW. In recognition of his dedication and commitment to the law school, he received the GW Law Stockton Guard Alumni Award in 2019.