This week, the Biden administration announced that Arianna Freeman ’01 has been nominated to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where she would be the first Black woman to sit on an appellate bench that oversees cases for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Virgin Islands.
Freeman has served as a managing attorney with the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania since 2016. At Swarthmore, she graduated with high honors while majoring in political science and minoring in economics. Freeman went on her to earn her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2007 and began working at the Federal Community Defender Office in 2009 as the unit’s research and writing specialist.
In 2012, as a member of the office’s Capital Habeas Unit, Freeman helped a client on death row receive a stay of execution due to newly discovered evidence. Along with three other Swarthmore alumnae, she worked to gain the trust of her clients and their families, learning as much as possible about their lives in order to best represent them.
“They’re human and want to find someone they can trust,” she said at the time. “Despite skepticism, they still say that those who express the most interest in them are the lawyers representing them.”
Freeman awaits hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a confirmation vote held among the full Senate body.