Chief Justice Debra Todd Portrait Unveiled at the University of Pittsburgh Law School

News Article

March 26, 2024

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law recently unveiled an official portrait of Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Debra Todd during a ceremony at the law school.

The portrait will be placed for students, visitors, and alumni to view in the Barco Law Building.

“Chief Justice Todd's legacy extends beyond her glass-ceiling-shattering elevation to Chief Justice,” said Mary Crossley, Interim Dean at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. “The portrait of Chief Justice Todd that we unveiled honors her accomplishments, but it will do more than that for many years to come.

“By hanging it in the law school, it will serve to inspire current and future students, to remind them that the law should be a tool and a force for good and that any student – no matter their background or what they look like – can aspire to become an attorney who wields that tool with power, integrity, and compassion.”

Reflecting on the impact the law school has had on her life and career, Chief Justice Todd noted that she is filled with great pride with what she and other law school alumni have been able to accomplish because of the law degree they received from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

“I owe a debt of gratitude to this law school and to my professors. It was here that I learned to think like a lawyer, to stand up for myself, and to understand the importance of the rule of law,” Todd said.

“It was within the hallowed walls of this law school that I developed an appreciation, and a passion, for the law, an inner strength, and a collection of newly polished and refined ideals which I carry with me every step of the way.

“My sincere thanks to the law school administration and Dean Crossley for this recognition, my professors for believing in me so many years ago and finally to David Stranger, who used his time and his talent to bring this portrait to life.”

The portrait, commissioned by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, was painted by Pittsburgh-based artist David Stranger. Strangers’ paintings have been exhibited widely, including showings at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Mattress Factory, the Butler Institute of American Art, and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.

For more than a decade, Stranger taught as a professor of painting before stepping away from academia to focus on his studio practice.

As the highest Court in the commonwealth and the oldest appellate court in the nation, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the definitive interpreter of Pennsylvania’s Constitution and laws. The Court has full administrative authority over all aspects of Pennsylvania’s judicial system and may also hear cases involving issues of immediate public importance arising in any court in the Commonwealth.

To learn more about the work and role of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, as well as the rest of the state’s judiciary, a detailed civics education toolkit is available here.

More information about the Pennsylvania Courts is also available on its website, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram.


Back to search results