Catherine E. Lhamon is the assistant secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. President Obama nominated her for this position on June 10, 2013, and she was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 1, 2013. Immediately prior to joining the Department, Lhamon was director of impact litigation at Public Counsel, the nation's largest pro bono law firm. Before that, she practiced for a decade at the ACLU of Southern California, ultimately as assistant legal director. Earlier in her career, 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. In 2004, California Lawyer named Lhamon Attorney of the Year for Civil Rights. The Daily Journal listed her as one of the Top 20 California Lawyers Under 40 in 2007, and as one of the state's Top Women Litigators in 2010 and 2007. Lhamon received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was the Outstanding Woman Law Graduate, and she graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College.