I am a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Douglass College, with law degrees from Rutgers and Harvard. After graduating law school, I served as a law clerk to the Hon. Richard Hughes, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. I then joined the Washington office of Fried, Frank, Shriver, Harris & Kampleman as an associate. In 1979, I joined the GW Law faculty, becoming the Elyce Zenoff Research Professor of Law in 1986. In 1983, while on leave of absence, I performed pro bono work for the Centre for Applied Legal Studies in South Africa and taught classes at the Univeristy of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Then, on sabbatical in 1986, I served as a special assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. I have served as a consultant to the National Institute of Justice, the President’s Commission on Organized Crime, and the ACLU. Since 1993, I have been a member of the Rules Committee of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and on the Board of Directors for the National Institute of Military Justice.
In 2006, I was elected to the Council of the District of Columbia. I have been re-elected four times. During my tenure on the Council, I have served as Chair Pro Tempore and chaired three committees: Public Services & Consumer Affairs; Government Operations; and Transportation & the Environment. I have authored over 450 separate bills and led six major investigations. Among the model legislation I've authored, the Council has passed bills that have overhauled and modernized the District’s taxicab fleet and created a model regulatory framework for innovative transportation options offered by smart-phone hailed vehicles and ridesharing services; updated the District’s recycling laws for the first time since the 1980s; targeted food deserts and the availability of healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods; improved healthy food options and education for students and children; created early voting and same-day voter registration; increased the clean energy used and available in the District; passed the most progressive climate-change and energy-conservation bill in the nation; ended predatory payday loan services in the District of Columbia; and passed the Death with Dignity law (physician aid in dying).