August 1, 2013 - Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that Gregory Howard Woods III was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously by voice vote to serve as a judge in the Southern District federal court. His nomination to the federal bench now moves to the full Senate. In February, Schumer recommended Woods to President Obama. Schumer has said that Woods is highly capable and very qualified for the position.
“As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I am thrilled to recommend Gregory Woods to the full Senate for his final confirmation,” said Schumer. “The breadth of his legal work and dedication to public service, not to mention his first-rate legal mind, make Gregory Woods one of the finest judicial candidates I have ever met. His experience in both the private and public sector will serve him especially well in the Southern District. Today’s vote demonstrated that members of both parties recognize that his qualifications were exemplary and his experience will serve well the people of the Southern District, and I expect the full Senate will swiftly confirm his nomination.”
Mr. Woods is of African American descent and a graduate of Williams College and Yale Law School. Mr. Woods received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1995. At Yale, Mr. Woods was Essays Editor on the Yale Law Journal and was awarded prizes for best brief and best oralist in the school’s moot court competition. Mr. Woods received his B.A. magna cum laude from Williams College in 1991.
Mr. Woods currently serves as General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior, he served as Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Transportation and was appointed by Secretary Ray LaHood in 2009. As Deputy General Counsel, Mr. Woods was awarded the “Secretary’s Partnering for Excellence Award” and the “General Counsel’s Team Award.” Mr. Woods was also an associate and then partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, working on a variety of financial and corporate matters and focusing on both the United States and Latin America. Mr. Woods was a member of the firm’s corporate practice, focused primarily on corporate finance, and advised a variety of corporations, banks and investors in domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. Mr. Woods was a member of the firm’s hiring committee, diversity committee and pro bono committee. Mr. Woods’ practice and client service led him to be recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in New York in Banking and Finance, among other honors. Mr. Woods entered public service in 1995 as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice. There, he practiced as a civil litigator until 1998, primarily litigating cases around fraud and fraud-related activities.
Mr. Woods has also done a large amount of pro bono work with Practicing Attorneys for Law Students (PALS), an organization devoted to serving the needs of minority law students in the New York area. In addition to his time with PALS, Mr. Woods is a board member for the Union Settlement Association – a social services organization serving East Harlem – and previously worked pro bono as counsel to the New York City Investment Fund.