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Anita Hill teaching at Brandeis University. Photo Credit: Alan Tran/The Brandeis Hoot.

The 27 years since the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings have not dimmed the memory for two of Anita Hill’s lawyers, and they have some lessons—and advice—for the California psychologist who is making a sexual assault allegation against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

In 1991, Emma Coleman Jordan had just become the first African-American president of the Association of American Law Schools when news broke that Hill was coming forward with sexual harassment allegations against President George H.W. Bush nominee Thomas. Susan Deller Ross, a nationally recognized civil rights and discrimination expert, was and still is a member of the Georgetown University Law Center faculty, where Jordan also now teaches.

Emma Coleman Jordan. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Jordan knew Hill since they had been on a panel together discussing commercial law. She decided, she said, to call Hill, then a professor at the University of Oklahoma Law School. “I asked her if she had legal representation,” Jordan recalled. “She said, ‘No,’ and my mouth flew open because they were already saying she was going to testify.”

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Marcia Coyle

Marcia Coyle, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @MarciaCoyle

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