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Susan L. Carney is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Nominated by President Barack Obama to fill the seat vacated by Judge Barrington D. Parker, Jr., she entered on duty as Circuit Judge on June 21, 2011.


Before her appointment, Judge Carney served as Deputy General Counsel of Yale University, a position she had held for over a decade. At Yale, she also served as Acting General Counsel. Her practice at the university was diverse, and included matters involving intellectual property law, research regulation, academic fraud, international transactions, ethics, and business, and litigation related to those and other areas. During her tenure at Yale, she was a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, at whose conferences she was a frequent speaker and where she served on the Board of Directors from 2007 through 2010.


A native of the Boston area, Judge Carney received her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1977, after attending the University of Chicago Law School from 1974 to 1975. She earned her B.A. cum laude in (Russian) History & Literature from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges in 1973. Her legal career began in 1977, when she worked in Boston as a law clerk to the Hon. Levin H. Campbell, Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. After her clerkship, she joined Ropes & Gray, in Boston, as a litigation associate. In 1979, Judge Carney moved to Washington, D.C., where she became an associate and then a partner at Rogovin, Stern & Huge, representing large nonprofit organizations in litigation and transactional work. In 1986 she moved to a partnership in a branch of the Los Angeles-based law firm, Tuttle & Taylor, and from 1988 until 1994, she practiced law independently, her work spanning litigation of copyright and insurance matters and legal projects for Georgetown University and the D.C. Bar Association, for which she was the Reporter of the Task Force on Court Funding. In 1994, she became Of Counsel to the labor law firm Bredhoff & Kaiser in Washington, D.C., and from 1996 until her move to New Haven in 1998, she served as Associate General Counsel of the Peace Corps, also in Washington, D.C.


From 2013-2019, Judge Carney was an elected Member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, serving as President of the Board from June 2018 through May 2019. She will teach as a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School in 2022 (she previously taught at Yale Law School in 2013 and 2021), and is a member of the American Law Institute, the Connecticut Bar Foundation, and a Fellow of Silliman College. She is a member of the Bars of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and the State of Connecticut. She lives in the New Haven area with her husband, a journalist.