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Nationally-Recognized Civil Rights Attorney, Alumna, Nina Perales Named Commencement Speaker at Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Contact: Kimberly Rock
Contact: Karen Anderson

Nationally-Recognized Civil Rights Attorney, Alumna, Nina Perales Named Commencement Speaker at Bard College at Simon’s Rock

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA— Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, will deliver the 45th commencement address at Bard College at Simon’s Rock on May 26, 2014 at 11:00a.m.

For information on commencement visit

Perales is best known for her work in voting rights, including redistricting and vote dilution cases. Her litigation has included successful statewide redistricting cases in Texas and Arizona as well as LULAC v. Perry (2006), a Voting Rights Act challenge to Texas congressional redistricting which Ms. Perales led through trial and argued successfully in the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Perales also led the challenge under the National Voter Registration Act to an Arizona voter law and secured a favorable ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona v. ITCA (2013). In addition, Ms. Perales specializes in immigrants' rights litigation, including leading the case striking down an anti-immigrant housing ordinance in Farmers Branch, Texas.

“We're delighted to welcome Nina back to Simon's Rock,” says Provost Peter Laipson. “As an accomplished alumna who has devoted her career to issues of equity and equality, she represents the highest values of the College.”

“It is an honor to be chosen to address the Simon's Rock graduating class of 2014. Thirty years ago, I walked the same stage at Simon's Rock, filled with pride and excitement about the future. Today, I appreciate even more the top-notch education I received and draw on it daily in my work.”

Ms. Perales earned an Associate of Arts degree from Bard College at Simon's Rock, a Bachelor's degree from Brown University and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

Bard College at Simon’s Rock is the only four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences specifically designed for bright, highly motivated students ready to begin college after the tenth or eleventh grade. Students are taught exclusively in small seminars by a supportive, highly-trained faculty. Degrees are granted in over 40 areas of study. Most graduates proceed to earn graduate and professional degrees at highly selective universities. Simon's Rock was founded in 1966 and joined the Bard College network in 1979. For more information visit