Born: September 14, 1947
Rochester, New York

Summary by
Barbara Kagan

Interviews Conducted by
Barbara Kagan

Elizabeth Sarah Gere, Esq.

Oral History Text & Documentation

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Oral History Summary


Sally Gere grew up in Syracuse, N.Y. with her parents and three younger sisters in an era that began to open new professional opportunities for women. For Sally ,that led to the law. After graduating from Denison University and George Washington University Law School, Sally was a law clerk to Judge June L. Green of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia-the fourth woman in the country to be appointed to the federal trial bench. With Judge Green as her role model, Sally learned how to be a successful trial lawyer.

After her clerkship, Sally served in the Criminal and Civil Divisions of the U.S. Department of Justice and was Chief of the Civil Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Ohio. She then returned to the District of Columbia, where she spent more than two decades as a partner and general counsel at Ross, Dixon & Bell, now Troutman Pepper. h 2A11, Sally returned to public service as a Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, where she worked until her retirement in 2018.

Over her career, Sally litigated a wide variety of civil and criminal cases in trial and appellate courts in the District of Columbia and across the country. Many of them made headlines in the Washington Post and the New York Times, and several reached the Supreme Court of the United States.

Sally taught at and, for a year, led the Justice Department’s Advocacy Institute program for civil litigation. Sally also was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center for over 20 years, where she was honored with an Outstanding Adjunct Professor award.

Sally’s other contributions to the profession include having served as a bar examiner with the D.C. Court of Appeals Committee on Admissions and as a member of one of that Court’s Board on Professional Responsibility Hearing Committees. She was Chair of the D.C. District Court’s Committee on Pro Se Litigation, and a member of its Local Rules Committee, its Lawyer Counseling Panel, and its Merit Selection Panel for magistrate judges.

Sally has been a member of the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference for decades and has received numerous professional awards. She was one of the first members of the Potter Stewart Inn of Court in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was a member of the Charles Fahy Inn of Court, the first Inn of Court in the District of Columbia.