Karlan earned her bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1980 and a law degree and master of arts in 1984. At Yale Law School, she served as an Article & Book Reviews editor of the Yale Law Journal.
In 1984-85, Karlan worked as a law clerk for former U.S. District Judge Abraham David Sofaer. In 1985-86, she clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun.
Blackmun revealed in a 1995 oral history with Harold Koh that his dissent in Bowers v. Hardwick was written primarily by Karlan. Blackmun said of the dissent, Karlan "did a lot of very effective writing, and I owe a lot to her and her ability in getting that dissent out. She felt very strongly about it, and I think is correct in her approach to it. I think the dissent is correct."
From 1986 until 1988, Karlan worked as an assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. From 1988 until 1998, Karlan was a professor of law at the University of Virginia School of Law.
In 1998, Karlan joined the faculty of Stanford Law School. She is the school's Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law. Karlan co-founded the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, through which students litigate live cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Pamela Karlan is a professor of law at Stanford Law School, a leading liberal legal scholar on voting rights and the political process, and the U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Voting Rights in the United States Department of Justice Civil Division. She has described herself as an example of "Snarky, bisexual, Jewish women." Her partner is Viola Canales, an American writer originally from McAllen, Texas. She has published a novel, The Tequila Worm.
Karlan is also a teacher at Stanford Law School and has won the school's prestigious Hurlbut teaching award multiple times.
On December 20, 2013, news organizations confirmed that Karlan has been tapped to serve as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Voting Rights in the United States Department of Justice Civil Division. The position did not require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Karlan took up her post on 13 January 2014.
Karlan has frequently commented on legal matters for PBS NewsHour. During the disputed 2000 presidential election, she appeared regularly in the news media to discuss its comportment with constitutional law. In the aftermath of the election, Karlan, Samuel Issacharoff, and Richard Pildes adapted two chapters from the law school casebook that they co-authored into a book called When Elections Go Bad: The Law of Democracy and the Presidential Election of 2000.
Throughout her career, Karlan has been an advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court. She was mentioned as a potential candidate to replace Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court when he retired in 2009.
Viola Canales (born 21 April 1957) is an American writer originally from McAllen, Texas. She has published a short story collection, Orange Candy Slices and Other Secret Tales (2001), and a novel, The Tequila Worm (2005) for which she won the Pura Belpré Award in 2006.
Canales attended St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin, Harvard College, and Harvard Law School.
She has been a captain in the US Army, a litigator, and an official in the Clinton Administration. She is currently a lecturer at Stanford Law School, where she teaches courses that combine law and fiction writing.
Her partner is U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Voting Rights in the United States Department of Justice Civil Division, Pamela Karlan.
The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books; Reprint edition (March 13, 2007)
Amazon: The Tequila Worm
Amazon Kindle: The Tequila Worm
Sofia comes from a family of storytellers. Here are her tales of growing up in the barrio, full of the magic and mystery of family traditions: making Easter cascarones, celebrating el Dia de los Muertos, preparing for quincea–era, rejoicing in the Christmas nacimiento, and curing homesickness by eating the tequila worm. When Sofia is singled out to receive a scholarship to an elite boarding school, she longs to explore life beyond the barrio, even though it means leaving her family to navigate a strange world of rich, privileged kids. It's a different mundo, but one where Sofia's traditions take on new meaning and illuminate her path.
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