PUBLISHED:March 08, 2023

Kate Adams, general counsel at Apple, to address class of 2023 at Convocation


Adams, who serves on the company’s executive team and oversees Apple’s legal matters, will be the distinguished speaker at the Law School's May 13 graduation ceremony.  

Kate Adams Kate Adams

Apple executive Kate Adams will address graduating Duke Law students as the distinguished speaker at their Convocation on May 13.

Adams is Apple’s general counsel and senior vice president of Legal and Global Security, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. She serves on the company’s executive team and oversees Apple’s legal matters, including corporate governance, intellectual property, litigation and securities compliance, global security, and privacy. 

“As the top lawyer at one of the world’s largest and most innovative companies, Kate Adams has a unique view of the world in which our students will work following graduation, particularly the increasing sophistication of technology and its impact on law and policy,” said Kerry Abrams, the James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean of the School of Law. “I can’t think of a better person to address the class of 2023, which will graduate at a time of rapid change and unprecedented challenges and opportunities in the legal profession.”

Adams joined Apple from Honeywell in 2017, where she worked for 14 years, most recently as senior vice president and general counsel. Prior to joining Honeywell, she was a partner at the law firm Sidley Austin.

Earlier in her career, Adams served as a law clerk for Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court, as trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in the Environment and Natural Resources Division, and as law clerk for Stephen Breyer, then chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She has served as an adjunct professor of law at Columbia University and New York University.

Adams is the president and member of the board of the Beaverkill Valley Land Trust. She is also on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the University of Chicago.  Previously she was a trustee of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and member of the boards of directors of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from Brown University and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where she serves on the Law School Council.

Duke Law’s Convocation ceremony is scheduled for May 13 at 5:30 p.m. in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Guests of graduating students are invited to attend, and the event will also be recorded.

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