David Codell, Visiting Arnold D. Kassoy Senior Scholar of Law and Legal Director
David Codell serves as the Visiting Arnold D. Kassoy Senior Scholar of Law and Legal Director at the Williams Institute. He is an attorney in Los Angeles whose private practice focuses on constitutional and appellate litigation, commercial litigation, and entertainment litigation. Codell’s litigation includes work in both trial and appellate courts, and his cases have resulted in numerous important published opinions, including historic decisions regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation. His litigation has advanced groundbreaking legal theories in connection with constitutional scrutiny of discrimination based on sexual orientation, legal recognition of relationships of same-sex couples, and legal rights of LGBT youth. Codell also has extensive experience in drafting legislation addressing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Codell received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Harvard College, and his J.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was a Supreme Court Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following law school, Codell served as a law clerk for Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States. Early in his legal career, Codell practiced constitutional law in association with Laurence H. Tribe in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and he later was a partner at Irell & Manella LLP in Los Angeles. He opened his own law office in 2003, and he continues to maintain his private practice in addition to his work with the Williams Institute. See www.codell.com.
Codell is a frequent speaker about legal issues at universities and continuing legal education events, and he has been honored by numerous legal and civil rights organizations, including the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the ACLU of Southern California, and People for the American Way.