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O’Melveny’s Coleman to Receive the 2013 Harvard MedalMay 20, 2013 O’Melveny & Myers LLP senior partner and the senior counselor William T. Coleman Jr., will receive the 2013 Harvard Medal for outstanding service to the University along with fellow alumni James V. Baker and Georgene Botyos Herschbach. The medals will be officially awarded on May 30, during the Harvard Alumni Association’s annual meeting on the afternoon of Commencement day.
Coleman, who ranked first in his law-school class, became the first African American to serve as a clerk for a US Supreme Court justice. He was also a contributing author to the 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education and later became president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. For Harvard, he served as Overseer from 1975 to 1981 and has been a member of five Overseer visiting committees, as well as a member of the Harvard Law School Dean’s Advisory Board (a post he has held since 1997). Coleman has received numerous past awards for his work—the Harvard Business School Distinguished Service Award, the HLSA Award, and the Harvard Club of Washington, DC, Public Service Award—and has been an HLS Traphagen Speaker.
Coleman joined O’Melveny in 1977, after serving as Secretary of the US Department of Transportation in the Ford Administration. He resides in the Firm’s Washington, DC office.