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About the Attorney General

Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood
New York State Attorney General
Barbara D. Underwood

Barbara D. Underwood has been Solicitor General of the State of New York since January 2007. Initially appointed by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, she was reappointed in January 2011 by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. She has also served as the Acting Solicitor General of the United States, and as Principal Deputy Solicitor General. She has argued twenty cases in the United States Supreme Court, and she has extensive appellate experience in both federal and state courts of appeals.

She has held executive positions in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and in two New York City District Attorney’s Offices (for Brooklyn and Queens), as well as serving as a trial attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She was a tenured Professor of Law at Yale Law School, and taught also at New York University School of Law and Brooklyn Law School. Her teaching and scholarship have been principally in the fields of constitutional law, criminal law, and evidence.

Ms. Underwood earned a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University (Radcliffe College) and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated first in her class and served as Note Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. She was a law clerk to Chief Judge David L. Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Her awards include the New York Law Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2014); the American Inns of Court-Second Circuit Award for Professionalism (and mentorship) (2012); the New York State Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section for Outstanding Appellate Practitioner (2010). She and her team have received one of the awards given by the National Association of Attorneys General for Best State Brief filed in the United States Supreme Court almost every year since she took office in 2007.

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