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Susan Estrich (born December 16, 1952) is an American lawyer, professor, author, political operative, political commentator, and feminist advocate.[1]

Early life

Estrich was born in Lynn, Massachusetts,[2] and grew up in Marblehead on the Massachusetts North Shore, where she attended the Dr Samuel C Eveleth School.[3]

Estrich graduated from Wellesley College in 1974, and received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1977.[4] In 1976, Estrich was elected the first female president/editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review, where she ran against Merrick Garland.[5][6]


Estrich served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1988, she was the campaign manager for Michael Dukakis' 1988 presidential run, even though she had never before managed a political campaign. She was the first female campaign manager of a major presidential campaign, and the first female campaign manager of the modern era.[7][8]

Estrich appears frequently on Fox News as a legal and political analyst, and has also substituted for Alan Colmes on the debate show Hannity & Colmes. She writes regular articles for the conservative website NewsMax, for which she is a pundit.[9] She is also on the Board of Editorial Contributors for USA Today.[10] She is currently a law professor at the University of Southern California Law School and a political science professor at its affiliated undergraduate school. Before joining the USC faculty in 1989, she was Professor of Law at Harvard University, where she was the youngest woman to receive tenure.[11] On January 10, 2008, Estrich joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, a law firm based in Los Angeles, where she chairs their Public Strategy in High Profile Litigation: Media Relations practice area.[12][13] She writes a nationally syndicated print column distributed through Creators Syndicate.[14]

In several of her books, including Sex & Power and The Case for Hillary Clinton, Estrich discusses her experience as a survivor of rape. Her book Real Rape talks about the history of rape law in the United States. In 2004, Estrich challenged Los Angeles Times editorial page editor Michael Kinsley for under-representing women on the editorial page.[15][16]

Estrich was very outspoken during the 2008 presidential race, particularly on the subject of women in politics in light of the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. Estrich supported Clinton in the Democratic primaries,[17] but was strongly critical of Palin.[18]

Estrich and the former American Civil Liberties Union president in Massachusetts, Harvey A. Silverglate, joined attorneys representing two alleged Boston al-Qaeda funders, Emadeddin Z. Muntasser and Muhammed Mubayyid who were indicted on May 11, 2005 for lying about the true nature of their organization and their charitable, tax-exempt activities. In their Oct. 5 2006 motion for dismissal, attorneys Mrs. Estrich, Malick Ghachem, Norman Zalkind and Elizabeth Lunt, argued that the defendants merely exercised their religious freedom and obligation to give “zakat” (Islamic charity). Their motion cites Chapter 9, verse 60 of the Koran, which describes “those entitled to receive zakat.”

In July 2016, Estrich was retained as legal counsel to the former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes — whom she met on the George H. W. Bush campaign trail in 1988 and whom she considers a close friend. Ailes lost his job after a number of women who worked for Fox News accused him of sexual harassment. Her attacks against Gabe Sherman, the New York reporter who broke the scandal, were negatively viewed by some who felt the representation to be inconsistent with Estrich's pro-feminist philosophy. [19]

Personal life

In 1986, Estrich married screenwriter, professor and former speechwriter Marty Kaplan, with whom she has a daughter, Isabel, and a son, James. They have since divorced.[20] She is Jewish, having celebrated becoming a Bat Mitzvah at Temple Israel in Swampscott, Massachusetts, and has written about her religion in her column.[21]



  1. ^ Farhi, Paul (2016-08-04). "What is feminist hero Susan Estrich doing representing Roger Ailes?". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-08-12. 
  2. ^ "Susan Estrich". 
  3. ^ "Eveleth School"
  4. ^ No Quarter interview with Susan Estrich March 16, 2003.
  5. ^ New York Times, "First Black Elected to Head Harvard's Law Review."
  6. ^ Lavoie, Denise, "Supreme Court nominee formed lasting bonds at Harvard."
  7. ^ "Dukakis Marathon Man Outlasts Party Rivals". 
  8. ^ "Page Not Found » AEI". 
  9. ^ "Subscribe or Renew Newsmax Magazine". 
  10. ^ Susan Estrich's Fox News bio
  11. ^ "Quinn Emanuel's Susan Estrich redefines Multitasking" AM Law Daily. July 2009.
  12. ^ "Susan Estrich - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP". 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Kurtz, Howard (March 7, 2005). "For One Ed, Strong Op: Susan Estrich Addresses the Male". Washington Post. 
  16. ^ Susan Estrich on Gender, Missing Voices, and That Nasty Email War, Columbia Journalism Review interview, undated.
  17. ^ Creators Syndicate, The Heat in the Kitchen
  18. ^ Creators Syndicate, Sarah Palin mattered
  19. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (11 September 2016). "The Curious Case of Susan Estrich". New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2016. 
  20. ^ "Susan Estrich". 
  21. ^ A Lot Like Christmas

External links