Skip to contentNational Women's Law Center

Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President

Described as "guiding the battles of the women's rights movement" by the New York Times, Marcia Greenberger is the founder and Co-President of the National Women's Law Center. The creation of the Center forty years ago established her as the first full-time women's rights legal advocate in Washington, D.C.

A recognized expert on women and the law, particularly in the areas of education and employment, health and reproductive rights, and family economic security, Ms. Greenberger has been a leader in securing the passage of major legislation, counsel in landmark litigation establishing new legal protections for women, and the author of numerous published articles. Examples include the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 providing critical protections against sexual harassment on the job, and Supreme Court victories strengthening protections for students and teachers against sex discrimination in schools.

Her leadership and contributions are reflected in the professional honors she has received and the numerous boards on which she has served. She has been given the James Wilson Award and the Alumni Award of Merit from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women "Beacon" Leadership Award, the American Bar Association Margaret Brent Award for 2012, the National Association of Women Lawyers' Arabella Babb Mansfield Award, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Lafayette College as well as the Woman Lawyer of the Year Award by the D.C. Women's Bar Association and the William J. Brennan, Jr. Award by the District of Columbia Bar. Additionally, she has been recognized by Working Woman Magazine as one of the 25 heroines whose activities over 25 years have helped women in the workplace, by Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington, D.C.'s most powerful women, by Legal Times as a "Top Lawyer" and one of its "30 Champions", and by Legal Times and The National Law Journal as one of "Washington's Most Influential Women Lawyers." She has received the Dr. Jane Evans Pursuit of Justice Award from Women of Reform Judaism, A Woman of Genius Award from Trinity College, the "21 Leaders of the 21st Century" Award from Womens eNews, and the Woman of Distinction Award from Soroptimist International of the Americas. She was elected to the Court of Honor of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, received the Hope Award from Calvary Women's Shelter and awards from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association and the Center for Law and Social Policy. She received a Presidential appointment to the National Skill Standards Board, and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

Ms. Greenberger received her B.A. with honors and J.D. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. She practiced law with the Washington, D.C., firm of Caplin and Drysdale before she started and became Director of the Women's Rights Project of the Center for Law and Social Policy, which became the National Women's Law Center in 1981.

My Take

Closing the Wage Gap, for Everyone

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: October 09, 2014 at 02:43 pm

We’re listening. It’s important to us that our work includes all women. Here’s a statement from NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger on the Equal Payback Project.

Read more...
Tags: | 32 comments

2013 In Review: Judicial Nominations

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: December 30, 2013 at 03:56 pm

As we prepare to begin a new year, it’s a fitting time to reflect on what 2013 meant for our federal courts. The Senate’s final votes of 2013 included several confirmations of judicial nominees who were not only highly qualified  but also brought  an unprecedented level of diversity to the federal bench. For example, over the last year alone President Obama has:

Read more...

Why Nina Pillard Deserves an Up-or-Down Vote

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: November 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Tomorrow, the Senate will vote on whether or not to move to a confirmation vote on the nomination of Cornelia (Nina) Pillard to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Nina Pillard is the second of three exceptionally qualified nominees to the D.C. Circuit pending before the Senate. She has had a remarkable legal career, checking every box of excellence and achievement. She has a broad spectrum of legal experience, having litigated at every level of the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, where she has argued nine cases and briefed dozens more. She served two tours in the Department of Justice, in the Solicitor General’s office and the Office of Legal Counsel. Currently, she is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where she both teaches and serves a Co-Director of the Supreme Court Institute, which prepares lawyers for oral argument.

In addition to her stellar qualifications and extraordinary experience, however, Nina Pillard’s career has an additional outstanding characteristic: she has been involved in two of the most significant recent Supreme Court cases dealing with women’s legal equality. First, she wrote the winning briefs in the case that opened the Virginia Military Institute to women. After the George H.W. Bush Administration first challenged the school’s male-only admissions policy, she wrote the briefs on behalf of the Clinton Administration that convinced the Supreme Court to strike it down under the Equal Protection Clause. Nina Pillard’s role in the VMI case has earned her the support of VMI alumnae, the former VMI superintendent (who initially opposed the admission of women), and over thirty former military officials [PDF].

Read more...

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals: The Second Most Important Court in the Nation Must Fill Its Vacancies

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: June 06, 2013 at 09:55 am

I was delighted to be present when President Obama announced the nominations of Patricia A. Millet, Cornelia “Nina” Pillard, and Robert L. Wilkins to fill the three vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday morning in the Rose Garden of the White House. It was a moment for celebration, but also to focus on the hard work ahead to urge Senators to give these exceptional nominees a confirmation promptly.

The President spoke forcefully about the critical importance of this court, noting that it is widely considered the second-most important court in the land and that it decides cases on a broad range of issues, from environmental protections to worker’s rights — and, I would add, women’s rights, and critical health and safety regulations that women need to protect themselves and their families. As the President put it, “the court’s decisions impact almost every aspect of our lives.”

But this President’s nominees have routinely had to wait significantly longer than the nominees by the Bush Administration. In fact, President Obama’s first outstanding nominee to the D.C. Circuit, Caitlin Halligan, was filibustered twice and blocked for over two years before she withdrew her nomination.

Read more...

The Deeply Regrettable End to Senate Republicans' Filibuster of Caitlin Halligan

Posted by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President | Posted on: March 25, 2013 at 11:45 am

Last Friday, Caitlin Halligan, the highly qualified nominee to the D.C. Circuit who had been subjected to two filibusters, asked the President to withdraw her name. Despite her impeccable qualifications and the bipartisan support of her peers, the legal and law enforcement community, and numerous organizations across the country, and despite the fact that four out of the eleven seats on the D.C. Circuit are vacant, every Republican Senator except Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski refused to allow an up-or-down vote on her nomination. 

Read more...