Following her graduation from Yale Law School, Tanya Acker began working with the Supreme Court and President Clinton as an avid fighter for women and minorities and is now sharing her legal mind on the Emmy nominated CBS hit show HOT BENCH. Acker offers unique perspectives on the most current news headlines. Tanya’s background in fighting for under-served communities and her decisive tone has made her a TV’s fan favorite judge. Always engaging and stirring on camera, Tanya has been featured as an expert guest on “Good Morning America,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “Wendy Williams,” “The Talk,” “The Insider,” “CNN Reports,” “Anderson Cooper 360,” “Extra,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” “CNBC Reports,” and more. Created by Judge Judy, HOT BENCH adds a new twist to the court genre, with the first-ever three judge panel that includes Tanya Acker, Patricia DiMango and Michael Corriero. HOT BENCH takes viewers inside the courtroom and into their chambers as they deliberate, making it one of the most popular programs on day time TV. Acker received her B.A. degree at Howard University before attending Yale Law where she represented low-income women in family law cases and served as a teaching assistant in Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure courses. She has worked at the Office of White House Counsel, the Civil Rights Division in the United States Department of Justice and various private law firms. Her work in private law includes working with President Clinton’s personal lawyers, as well as on the preparation of Congressional testimony for pending product liability legislation and First Amendment issues.
After graduating from Yale, Acker served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Dorothy Wright Nelson on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Her duties during that appointment included advising and making recommendations to Ninth Circuit judges about rulings on a broad variety of cases and preparing Judge Nelson for oral arguments on matters before the Court. After her clerkship, the Office of the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice awarded her a Bristow Fellowship. As a Bristow Fellow, her duties included drafting Supreme Court briefs.
In private practice, Acker’s legal work spanned a broad variety of matters from civil litigation involving public and private entities, to various constitutional cases, to providing business counseling and advice. She also maintained a commitment to pro bono work, receiving the ACLU’s First Amendment Award for her successful representation of the homeless in a case against the City of Santa Barbara. As an influential community leader and advocate, Acker serves on the boards of Public Counsel, the nation’s largest provider of free legal services; the Western Justice Center, which promotes alternative dispute resolution; the Western Los Angeles County Council of the Boy Scouts of America (the WLACC does not discriminate on any basis); and Rainbow Services, which provides shelter services to victims of domestic violence.