Tanya Acker is a practicing attorney, media consultant and television commentator.
She has been a featured guest on The Early Show, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, CNN Reports, Anderson Cooper 360, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell, Extra, The O’Reilly Factor, Your World With Neil Cavuto, CNBC Reports, HLN’s Special Report, Great Britain’s GMTV and Sky News, and various other broadcasts. She has guest co-hosted CNBC’s Power Lunch, been featured as a guest instructor on social responsibility on VH1’s Charm School, discussed political scandals on the E! Channel, been a legal expert on the syndicated show Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers and a special legal correspondent on Entertainment Tonight. Tanya also was cast in a CBS primetime television pilot, created and produced by the creators of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, in which she worked with individuals in challenging situations and helped them resolve their crises. C Magazine included her in an election season profile on noteworthy California women in politics. Tanya also contributes to the Huffington Post.
Tanya graduated from Yale Law School in 1995. While at Yale, Tanya represented indigent women in family law cases and served as a teaching assistant in Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure courses. During law school, she worked at the Office of White House Counsel, the Civil Rights Division in the United States Department of Justice, and the private law firms Irell & Manella, O’Melveny & Myers, and Williams & Connolly. At Williams & Connolly, she assisted President Clinton’s personal lawyers with press interviews, worked on the preparation of Congressional testimony for pending product liability legislation, and researched First Amendment issues.
After graduating law school, Tanya served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Dorothy Wright Nelson on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Her duties during that appointment included advising and making recommendations to Judge Nelson and other Ninth Circuit judges about rulings on a broad variety of cases, and preparing Judge Nelson for oral arguments on matters before the Court.
After her clerkship, the Office of the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice awarded Tanya a Bristow Fellowship. While working as a Bristow Fellow, Tanya drafted Supreme Court briefs and helped prepare the Solicitor General and other attorneys for oral arguments, including those before the High Court. Among the cases on which Tanya worked was the Clinton v. Jones case, where she worked with both the Solicitor General and President Clinton’s personal attorneys in preparing for that argument.
Tanya worked in the private sector, including at the law firms of Latham & Watkins and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, for the next 7 years. Her work spanned a broad variety of cases, including state Supreme Court matters, corporate litigation involving public and private entities, and various constitutional cases. In 2002, Tanya received the ACLU’s First Amendment Award for her successful representation of the homeless in a case against the City of Santa Barbara. In 2004, Tanya joined the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign in California, where she worked in entertainment industry outreach. After that, she was appointed Deputy Campaign Manager for the Los Angeles mayoral campaign of City Councilman Bernard C. Parks.
Tanya has been a featured speaker at conferences hosted by the University of Southern California and Harvard Law School, has moderated political forums hosted by Common Cause, and was the keynote speaker at a meeting of the Los Angeles Chapter of the English Speaking Union, where she spoke about historical trends in American international engagement.
Tanya received her B.A. degree at Howard University in 1992, where she graduated summa cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She was awarded a Luard Scholarship for study at St. Anne’s College at Oxford University, and served there as the co-editor-in-chief of the Oxford University Women’s Magazine. At Yale Law School, she was awarded an Earl Warren Scholarship by the NAACP and a Coker Fellowship by the Yale faculty.
In addition to maintaining a private legal and consulting practice, Tanya serves on the boards of Public Counsel, the nation’s largest provider of free legal services, the Western Justice Center, which promotes alternative dispute resolution, and Special Spaces, which provides dream bedrooms to sick children. Tanya also sits on the boards of EmeraChem LLC, a Tennessee manufacturer dedicated to the development of clean energy products, and Hunt Investors LLC, which invests in clean technology companies and products.
Follow Tanya on Twitter at @tanyaacker.
Tanya Acker on Unemployment in the U.S. (video)
CBS News [August 9, 2010]
Oh, Bill O' Reilly--It's "Our" Country, Too.
Huffington Post [June 9, 2010]
Treating addicts: What we may (or may not) learn from the Conrad Murray case
AC360 Blog [February 9, 2010]