United States District Judge Michael P.
Shea ’85 addresses the AP Government
United States District Judge Michael P. Shea ’85 returned to Northwest Catholic on March 2, 2016 to speak to Advanced Placement U.S. Government students about his experience with the U.S. judicial system, including the process of being nominated as a district judge and what that position involves. He also took questions from students about the court system and current legal issues being debated around the country.
“It was a privilege for our AP United States Government students to learn about the federal judiciary from Judge Shea,” said Paul Fitzpatrick, AP Government teacher. “He did a wonderful job of describing the role of the courts in our system of checks and balances as well as explaining the application of the Constitution in our daily lives. We all greatly appreciate his taking the time from a very busy schedule to field questions posed by our seniors.”
Judge Shea graduated from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1989. He graduated from Yale Law School, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal, in 1993. After graduating from law school, Judge Shea clerked for Judge James L. Buckley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then joined Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP as an associate, resident first in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and then in its Brussels, Belgium office.
In 1998, Judge Shea returned to Hartford, Connecticut, and joined Day, Berry & Howard LLP, now known as Day Pitney LLP, as an associate, becoming a partner of the firm in 2003. He also chaired the firm’s appellate practice group. Throughout his career in private practice, Judge Shea maintained an active pro bono practice, receiving awards from both the Hartford County and Connecticut Bar Associations for his work on behalf of indigent persons in criminal and civil cases. He was sworn in as a United States District Judge on December 31, 2012.