U.S. District Judge Patti Saris GLS’69

Patti B. Saris is a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts. Judge Saris grew up in Boston where she attended Girls Latin School. She went on to earn her undergraduate degree at Harvard University and her J.D. at Harvard Law School. 

Throughout her career, Judge Saris has experienced working in all three branches of government. Prior to becoming a judge, she worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and as a staffer for the U.S. Senate in Washington D.C., where she negotiated and drafted a variety of legislation. After returning to Massachusetts in 1981, Saris began working at the U.S. Attorney’s office, where she was named chief of the Civil Division. 

In 1986, Saris began working as a U.S. magistrate judge, where she built a reputation as a leading judge in intellectual property cases. From 1989 to 1993, Judge Saris worked as an associate justice in the Massachusetts Superior Court. In 1994, she was appointed to the U.S. District Court by President Bill Clinton. In 2013, Judge Saris became the chief U.S. district court judge in the District of Massachusetts.

Outside of the courtroom, Judge Saris also served as chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Over the years, she has used this position to reform the criminal justice system and address issues surrounding mass incarceration in the U.S.

–Regine Pierre-Louis WF’20