Howard University

William T. Coleman Jr. Biography

William T. Coleman Jr.

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Bill Coleman is a senior partner and the Senior Counselor in the Washington, DC office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP. He joined the firm in 1977, after serving as Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation in the Gerald Ford Administration. Prior thereto, he had been an active practitioner in a Philadelphia law firm. Mr. Coleman has extensive experience in litigation matters in the corporate, antitrust, natural gas, and constitutional law fields; foreign trade and other international matters; and the handling of corporate acquisitions and divestitures. He is also engaged in public, governmental activities.

Mr. Coleman has played a significant role with the Firm’s following clients: the Ford Motor Company; General Motors Corporation; Insurance Company of North America (now CIGNA Corporation); IBM; the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority; the American Public Transit Association; Long Island Power Authority; Nippon Paper Industries, Ltd.; The School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; U.S. Airways, Inc.; VSMPO; the Venetian Casino Resort; Washington Development Group, Inc.; Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority; Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Security Pacific Bank; British Steel Corporation; Goldman, Sachs; Chase Manhattan; Banc One; American Savings, F.A.; Security Pacific Bank; Pan American World Airways, Inc.; United Air Lines Inc.; Pacific Gas & Electric Company; Dow Corning; The West Group; and Merck and Co., Inc., among many others.

Mr. Coleman was the one of the lead strategists and a coauthor of the legal brief in Brown v. Board of Education. In addition to the publication of his memoir, Counsel for the Situation, Shaping the Law to Realize America’s Promise (2010), Mr. Coleman has written numerous law review and scholarly articles. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Congressional Medal of Freedom, conferred upon him by President Bill Clinton in 1995, and the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in 1997. Mr. Coleman received his law degree magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1943 and his A.B. degree summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1941. He is the father of three children.

updated: February 8, 2011