United States District Judge Robert Pratt, Southern District of Iowa, will be the speaker for the Law School’s Public Service Law Day on Tuesday, Sept. 24. Pratt’s presentation is titled, “Gideon v. Wainwright at 50: Promise or Illusion?” A public lecture is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Judge Pratt will visit classes which have a Federal law component and will meet with the Public Service Scholars, members of the American Constitution Society, and other interested students informally. Professor Russell Lovell heads up the Law School’s Public Service Scholar Program and is coordinating Judge Pratt’s visit.
Judge Pratt was nominated in 1996 and again 1997 by President Clinton. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 23, 1997 and entered on duty on July 1, 1997. He served as Chief Judge of the Southern District of Iowa from 2006 until 2011. Judge Pratt became a senior judge on July 1, 2012.
Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Pratt worked for the Polk County (Des Moines) Iowa Legal Aid Society and practiced law privately, with a focus on low-income clients in consumer, housing and civil rights areas, labor unions, plaintiffs in personal injury claims and workers compensation, and Social Security Disability cases.
Judge Pratt has taken a leadership role in sentencing reforms in federal court criminal cases. Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38 (2007); Gall v. United States, 374 F.Supp.2d 758 (S.D. Ia. 2005). His interests as a judge include information technology and access to justice issues. In addition to his work as a judge in the Southern District of Iowa, Judge Pratt has also sat by designation as a judge on the United States Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits.
Judge Pratt’s public lecture will be held at Drake Law School, Cartwright Hall, Room 206 at 11 a.m.