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Adam K. Mortara is an American lawyer who is currently a partner at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott and a lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School. He was the lead trial counsel in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, an affirmative action case that is expected to reach the Supreme Court of the United States.

Adam K. Mortara
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NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma mater
  • University of Chicago (B.Sc.)
  • Magdalene College, Cambridge (M.A.)
  • University of Chicago Law School (J.D.)
OccupationLawyer
EmployerBartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott

Education and career

Mortara graduated from the College of the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts B.Sc. with general and special honors in 2002, majoring in chemistry. He later studied at Magdalene College, Cambridge on a Marshall Scholarship and graduated in 1998 with a M.A. in astrophysics. In 2001, he earned a J.D. with the highest honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif. After graduating from law school, Mortara clerked for Judge Patrick Higginbotham on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court of the U.S. Supreme Court.He was then a Temple Bar Scholar at the American Inns of Court. In 2003, he joined Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott and was promoted to partner in 2007. Mortara was the lead trial counsel for Students for Fair Admissions in the affirmative action case Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, which was filed in 2014 and is currently before the federal courts. Mortara described his personal stake in the case as stemming from three of his friends, each of whom has children of Asian descent, and a passion to learn about Chinese culture in high school. Mortara had learned Mandarin and traveled to many Chinese cities in his youth.

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