Catherine E. Lhamon is the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. Ms. Lhamon's 17-year track record of success has earned her repeat accolades as one of California's top women lawyers, and as a lawyer of the year for civil rights. She was also named one of California's Top 20 Lawyers Under 40 in 2007. Immediately prior to coming to the Department of Education, Ms. Lhamon was the Director of Impact Litigation at Public Counsel, which is the nation's largest pro bono law firm. Before coming to Public Counsel, Ms. Lhamon practiced for a decade at the ACLU of Southern California, ultimately as Assistant Legal Director. Before then, Ms. Lhamon was a teaching fellow and supervising attorney in the Appellate Litigation Program at Georgetown University Law Center after clerking for The Honorable William A. Norris on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was The Outstanding Woman Law Graduate, and graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College.