Guide to the Jerome J. Shestack papers, 1944-2011 and undated, bulk 1965-2000
Jerome Shestack was a prominent lawyer and human rights advocate. His papers chiefly document the leadership roles he undertook for social justice organizations such as the American Bar Association, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the International League for Human Rights, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and many others, and the histories of those entities. Series include extensive correspondence and subject files, organization files, writings and speeches, publications and clippings, as well as a small collection of personal files, photographs, and Shestack's World War II diary. Topics covered in the collection include but are not limited to: the history of the American Bar Association; law and legislation related to international and domestic human and civil rights; American government policies on human rights; Jewish human rights issues; the defense of political dissidents such as Andrei Sakharov; disappeared persons in Argentina; the rights of the mentally disabled; and Shestack's role in standing against the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork. Acquired as part of the Human Rights Archive at Duke University.
- Collection Number
- Jerome J. Shestack papers
- 1944-2011 and undated
- Shestack, Jerome J.
- 128 Linear Feet, 86 boxes
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Materials are in English.
The papers of Jerome Shestack span the years of 1944 to 2011, and document the leadership roles he undertook for legal and social justice organizations such as the American Bar Association, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the International League for Human Rights, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the American Jewish Committee, the International Criminal Court, and many others, and the histories of those entities. Series include extensive correspondence and subject files; organization files; writings by Shestack and others, such as reports, editorials, articles, and speeches; publications and clippings; trial testimonies and proceedings; as well as a small collection of personal files, photographs, and Shestack's World War II diary.
The materials provide insights into Shestack's many professional achievements and how his work in the legal profession intersected his passion for human rights. Shestack held leadership roles in many law and human rights organizations, often simultaneously; therefore, the materials also reveal how organizations often collaborated with one another to address human rights from a legal standpoint. A large portion of the material focuses on Shestack's dedication to the law profession through his active roles in the American Bar Association, which includes his position on the 1987 judicial committee against the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork, as well as his role as American Bar Association President from 1997 to 1998.
Other materials in the collection demonstrate Shestack's work to promote and defend human rights on a broad international scale. Significant file groups for countries and their associated human rights cases include Argentina, China, Israel, Russia, and South Africa. His particular interests pertaining to human rights include but are not limited to: law and legislation related to international and domestic human and civil rights; American government policies on human rights; Jewish human rights issues; the defense of political dissidents such as Andrei Sakharov; disappeared persons in Argentina and other human rights abuses; the rights of the mentally disabled; and the history of human rights advocacy.
The worldwide respect Shestack gained for his advocacy work is represented in the collection through extensive correspondence and subject files documenting his connections to notable human rights activists and prominent political leaders, including President Jimmy Carter, President George Bush, René Cassin, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Some audiovisual materials are scattered throughout the collection: a CNBC interview of Shestack as ABA President, International League for Human Rights Awards Dinner cassettes, Wingspread Interview cassettes, a Court TV Bosnia Trial VHS recording, and a recording of the Independent Counsel Symposium. Original media are closed to use; listening or viewing copies must be made for access.
Acquired as part of the Human Rights Archive at Duke University.
Arranged in the following series: American Bar Association; Organizations; Correspondence; Subject Files; Writings and Speeches; and Print Materials.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
Originals of video and audiotape are closed to use. Patrons must request use copies to access the content of the material.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Jerome J. Shestack papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
The American Bar Association series documents Shestack's work as a long-time member of the legal organization. The materials reflect his active participation in multiple American Bar Association (ABA) sections and committees, especially those dedicated to the advancement of human rights and equal opportunity. Highlights of the series include files on the committee that helped negate the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork in 1987 as well as files documenting Shestack's work during his time as appointed President of the American Bar Association from 1997 to 1998. The series consists of eight subseries: Correspondence, Writings, Presidential Materials, Sections and Committees, and Internal Reports, ABA Publications and Mailings, Subject Files, and Administrative Files.
This subseries consists of correspondence between Shestack and others specifically regarding his work in the American Bar Association. Most of the correspondence was exchanged between Shestack and other members of the American Bar Association, but there is some correspondence between Shestack and members of other organizations or groups working with the ABA for various causes.
Correspondence topics include support for Shestack in various ABA elections, state bar association activities, and Shestack's acceptance of the ABA Medal. The series begins with correspondence arranged chronologically by Shestack. Other correspondence files are arranged by subject. Related material may be found in the Correspondence series.
Contains correspondence between Shestack and colleagues regarding his work within the American Bar Association
Letters written to Shestack to endorse his candidacy for re-elected Assembly delegate to the House of Delegates of the ABA in 1983.
Correspondence from colleagues arranged by their state location in the US. Some correspondence refers to Shestack's possible candidacy for ABA President.
Letters written to the ABA in support of Shestack's nomination for the 2005 ABA Medal
Files house drafts and final versions of writings and speeches by Shestack on American Bar Association topics and events. Related materials may be found in the Writings and Speeches series and perhaps in the Print Materials series.
Speeches, papers, and some articles written by Shestack and directed towards different bar associations and legal groups, and newspapers usually on a broader theme regarding the profession. Some speeches given to honor particular people. Speeches are arranged in chronological groups by month, some speeches given more than once, and they are placed in the appropriate date range. Some speech drafts with marginalia included in this series.
Materials document Shestack's role as American Bar Association President from 1997-1998. Materials span his election campaign, his activities as President-Elect, and his work while in office. Documents include letters of support, articles covering the campaign, Shestack's acceptance speech, presidential reports by Shestack, and an interview of Shestack on CNBC during his presidency, recorded on VHS.
Original recording is closed to use; a viewing copy must be made for access. Please contact the Rubenstein Library staff before coming to use this collection.
Includes letters of endorsement, candidacy announcements for Shestack
Includes nomination announcements and news articles about Shestack's election
Includes articles and correspondence addressing Shestack's work as ABA President.
Includes ABA Presidency reports and memorandums, conference briefing books, and a 1997 VHS tape of Shestack on CNBC
This large subseries documents Shestack's work on various ABA sections and committees throughout the entirety of his time as a member of the association.
Sections and committees of interest are: the Office of Economic Opportunity, the Commission on the Mentally Disabled, and the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities, of which Shestack was a founding member. The subseries also contains documents regarding Shestack's work on the ABA Committee of judicial appointments, specifically relating to his vote against Judge Robert Bork's nomination for the Supreme Court. Documents include some correspondence, conference files, reports, and memorandas.
Documents regarding the ABA Committee formed to determine whether or not Judge Robert Bork was qualified to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox as a part of the Watergate Scandal. Includes letters from committee members supporting or denying Bork's qualifications in addition to committee reports and essay commenting on the event.
Meeting reports, ABA-published Materials, and some correspondence regarding ABA and Shestack's involvement with the Central Eastern European Law Initiative, a nonprofit provider of legal education in the Czech Republic.
Reports, member rosters, and some Supreme Court case files concerning or belonging to the Federal Judiciary Committee, a committee that provides peer evaluation of federal judicial nominees.
Newsletters, reports, and correspondence on various topics of human rights addressed by the Center. Topics include torture, genocide, and human rights work in various countries.
Correspondence between Shestack and his colleagues about the activities of the ABA's Section for Individual Rights and Responsibilities. Correspondence from 1991 celebrates the section's anniversary.
Correspondence to and from Shestack regarding a controversial Chicago Trial involving the Cincinnati Bar Association and ABA's section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities.
Correspondence from the Chicago trial and news clippings
Correspondence concerning ABA's involvement in the National Constitution Convention
Oral report by Shestack to the House of Delegates concerning IRR issues and related correspondence
Press releases and reports concerning IRR's Committee on Dissent Among College Communities
ABA IRR's Human Rights Magazine w/ special feature on IRR Anniversary
Correspondence and reports on the ratification of the IRR-supported Genocide Convention by the United States
Correspondence and memorandums regarding IRR's subcommittee on equal opportunity in the housing market
Correspondence and reports from the IRR annual meetings
Reports from the IRR annual meetings
Correspondence, reports, news clippings, and publications concerning the activities of the Rights to Legal Services Committee, which sought to provide legal services to those who struggled to find such services.
News clippings about the ABA-IRR officers.
Board of Governors meeting minutes
Correspondence between Shestack and colleagues about amnesty and IRR
Reports and charts of IRR funds allocation.
Correspondence, reports, and memorandums concerning the IRR's work with the Ford Foundation.
Correspondence and reports on the IRR committee for alcohol reform
Correspondence and reports on initiatives led by the IRR Civil Rights Committee
Includes correspondence, reports, and publications by the National Judicial College for the IRR's work with Immigration Law. Also Includes certificates award to Shestack for presentations he conducted as a part of human rights courses conducted through the National Judicial College.
Binder files concerning human rights projects undertaken by the ABA-IRR. Also includes ABA Human Rights publication from July 1971.
Assorted correspondence to and from Shestack, memorandums, committee reports, and publications regarding the ABA's Section on Individual Rights and Resposibilities. Original arrangement provided.
Correspondence to and from Shestack regarding the ABA's Commission on the Mentally Disabled
Correspondence from Shestack to state bar association presidents asking for their cooperation in creating a guide to advocating for the Mentally Disabled for distribution. A final guide copy is included.
Letter from Shestack to Dean Kimball advocating for the need for a Mental Health Legal Advocacy Center
Executive Summary for Quality of Life for Persons with Disabilities in the United States Institute for Continuing Care
Correspondence and annual reports about Commission on Mentally Disabled Activities and information for state bar associations on how to start a mental health committee
Committee meeting documents and newspaper clippings regarding the committee's involvement with the California Rural Legal Assistance
Correspondence regarding work within the ABA's Office of Economic Opportunity
Proposals, memorandums, and newsletters concerning OEO
Correspondence regarding OEO Legal Services
Various reports, program files and correspondence regarding OEO administrative programs
Meeting information from the IBA Task Force on Profession Ethics to be used in an ABA context.
Correspondence, memorandums, and articles collected in response to Shestack's appointment to the Federal Judiciary Committee
Correspondence, memorandums, news clippings, and reports related to committees of ABA, kept in original order.
Files chiefly house reports circulated within the American Bar Association. The majority are administrative in nature and distributed association-wide. A few reports are specifically related to Shestack's work within the organization, such as grant reports.
Reports circulated among ABA Members that concern administrative activities; reports not circulated to the public
Grant Application/Report for ABA Justice and Education Section submitted to the American Endowment Committee
Internal reports and report Drafts that document ABA programs and initiatives to exhibit professionalism as members of the legal field.
This subseries consists of news and promotional materials sent to all members of the American Bar Association, such as the ABA Journal or mailings about membership. Most files contain articles related to Shestack's work within the organization.
Some related materials can be found in the Print Materials series.
ABA magazines, and public mail sent to members and other people to advertise ABA and its activities
Subseries includes correspondence, reports, and memoranda concerning various people and events related to Shestack's work during his time in the American Bar Association. Files are arranged alphabetically by subject name.
Subject files arranged alphabetically, including but not limited to the following subjects: Chamber of Commerce, China Project, Coalition for Justice, International Criminal Court
Subject files arranged alphabetically, including but not limited to the following subjects: International Criminal Court, Minorities, SACIA, Supplemental Security Income
Subject Files arranged alphabetically, including Supreme Court Briefs and University of South Carolina School of Law Evaluation
This subseries consists of files regarding administrative activities of ABA involving Shestack. Materials are mostly meeting minutes and agendas. The general administrative files contain a variety of similar administrative documents that were originally unfiled.
Files documenting section plans and profiling section officers
Files include ABA Law Day Results 1998, ABA Legal Education, Legal Intelligencer Article, Law and National Security Schedule Sheet, Judiciary Committee Files
Application from ABA submitted to the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations for consultative status in category II with the Economic and Social Council
Shestack's Correspondence with state bar Directors on the status of ABA
Files that document administrative activities within ABA regarding various events and subjects. Includes agendas, reports, meeting minutes, binder notes, and some correspondence.
Series comprises materials concerning Shestack's work as a member and leader in various organizations. Materials demonstrate Shestack's passion for both human rights, the legal profession, and the intersection of the two subjects. Highlights of the series include his work within multiple organizations, particularly the International League of Human Rights, to raise awareness of the persecution of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov. Other highlights include his work for Jewish human rights and advocacy and his role as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Formats vary across organizations, but generally consists of correspondence, subject files, reports, and administrative files.
The materials in this series document Shestack's work in the International League for Human Rights (ILHR), a human rights organization of which he became and member around the time of its conception in 1963 and was chairman from 1976 until 1996. Documents include correspondence, subject files, conference proceedings, reports, newsletters, meeting minutes, and other administrative files. Most correspondence occurs between Shestack and ILHR colleagues, though some corresponce occurs between Shestack and non-ILHR members regarding collaborative work between ILHR and other organizations. Subject files are arranged in alphabetical order, and cover a variety of topics documenting Shestack's work in the organization, including files about human rights in various countries and organization funding. The materials also demonstrate Shestack's work to raise awareness of mistreatment of political dissident Andrei Sakharov and disappearances of thousands of people during the military junta in Argentina in the 1970s. The International League for Human Rights was known as the International League for the Rights of Man until it was renamed in 1976.
Contains correspondence between Shestack and his colleagues regarding his work and other activities within the International League for Human Rights.
Correspondence specifically regarding ILHR responses to global events, meeting coordination,organization of reports, and collaboration with other organizations.
Letters to potential donors of International League for Human Rights requesting financial support.
Letters between Shestack and ambassadors of various countries
Documents about Eleanor Roosevelt that connect her human rights work with the work of the International League for Human Rights
Documents that detail funding needs and applications processes for funding from various foundations that wanted to contribute to the International League for Human Rights' cause.
Documents that Shestack and his International League of Human Rights colleagues used for research specifically pertaining to the human rights work of the organization.
Documents used for research by Shestack and his colleagues for various work within the organization
Documents pertaining to the life, work, and controversy surrounding Andrei Sakharov, a Russian nuclear physicist and human rights activist. Shestack worked against the Sakharov's mistreatment as a Soviet dissident around this time.
Articles discussing Sakharov controversy and his human rights work
Includes 1984 tribute book about Andrei Sakharov and Yelena Bonner
Includes newsletters, reports booklets, agendas, some correspondence, in addition to more committee meeting minutes, commemorative files, some files used for research pertaining to the International League for Human Rights. Documents within files maintain their original order.
The International Bar Association subseries houses materials from Shestack's time as a member of the International Bar Association. Materials document Shestack's correspondence and collaboration with other national bar association leaders across the world, particularly in regards to law's role in international human rights issues. Types of materials include correspondence, subject files, international conference files, materials from bar associations in different countries, meeting minutes, and a few publications.
Correspondence to and from Shestack regarding the activities of the International Bar Association
Conference proceedings and administrative materials
Lists, programs, and memorandums kept by Shestack that document the administrative activities of the International Bar Association. Also contains some correspondence.
Materials in this subseries documents a few events and administrative work pertinent to the International Criminal Court, which Shestack played a role in creating during his time as President of the ABA. Related materials may be found in the American Bar Association series or in the International League of Human Rights subseries.
Correspondence, reports and publications regarding various International Criminal Court activities
This subseries contains materials documenting Shestack's time as a Commissioner on the International Commission of Jurists, a human rights non-governmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. Materials include correspondence between Shestack and ICJ colleagues, speeches by Shestack regarding ICJ, newsletters, reports, memoranda, and administrative files that were previously unfiled.
Includes Report on Activities, The Review Journal, and ICJ newsletters
Maps, report outlines, some correspondence, memos relating to Shestack's work within the International Commission of Jurists
Materials in this subseries include correspondence, subject files, and press releases concerning Shestack's work in the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, an organization created at the request of President John F. Kennedy. Shestack was a member of the organization's first Board of Trustees.
Correspondence regarding the Civil Rights Movement and the activities of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights. Some correspondence is between Shestack and colleagues, but a great deal of correspondence is between Bernard Segal, civil rights lawyer and president of the ABA in the late 1960s.
Includes publications such as Black Economic Development, Racial Tensions in New York State, and A Nation is Never Finished
Correspondence and memorandums between the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights and other related organizations
Correspondence and reports discussing the State Bar Associations and their involvement with the Civil Rights Movement.
Correspondence regarding local Philadelphia cases and Philadelphia Bar Association activities held in conjunction with the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights
Correspondence and reports regarding the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights summer project to bring lawyers to Mississippi in cooperation with the Legal Defense Fund.
Files concerning the Mississippi Project as well as other Civil Rights Movement activities.
File used by Shestack for personal research related to the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights
Files regarding the Civil Rights Movement collected by Shestack for use in the context of Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law activity. Includes newspaper clippings, reports, and external publications.
Civil rights cases collected by Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights.
Correspondence, reports concerning the Executive Committee of Lawyers Committee of Civil Rights Under Law
Correspondence, reports, and memorandums concerning the administration of Lawyer's Committee of Civil Rights Under Law. Documents within files are in original arrangement.
This subseries documents Shestack's time as a member of the Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization that focuses on legal representation for human rights causes. It was founded in 1975 as the Lawyer's Committee for International Human Rights. It has ties to both the American Bar Association and the International League for Human Rights. Materials include correspondence, subject files, newsletters, membership files, and administrative records.
Contains contact addresses and some correspondence
Includes Vigilantes in the Philippines: A Threat to Democratic Rule and In Defense of Rights: Attacks on Lawyers and Judges in 1990
Original and photocopy versions of publications, reports, and essays not produced by the Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights but pertaining to human rights and related subjects.
Correspondence, newsletters, and reports related to the Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights Activities. Original arrangement within folders.
Materials document Shestack's activities as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, a functional commission of the U.N. that focused on human rights situations in various countries. Shestack was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. Materials include correspondence between Shestack and others regarding the U.N. Commission, conference proceedings, Commission agendas, meeting minutes, subject files, and administrative files.
Related materials can be found in the Events subseries of the Subjects series.
UN Commission session files, memorandums, and reports regarding the activities of the group.
Materials document Shestack's work as a member of the American Jewish Committee, a Jewish advocacy organization, for which he served on the Board of Directors. Materials include correspondence between Shestack and his colleagues regarding the committee; meeting minutes; administrative files; and materials on the Blaustein institute of Jewish Human Rights, a section of the American Jewish Committee that focuses on international human rights. Shestack was an Institute chair and prominent member of its steering committee.
Correspondence, reports, and administrative files from the American Jewish Committee's Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
Reports, correspondence, and publications regarding the activities of the American Jewish Committee International
Shestack's work on the Luso-American Business Council, a non-profit organization founded by American Portuguese and based in New York City, is documented here. Materials include correspondence between Shestack and others pertaining to the Council, organizational tax information, and administrative files.
Reports, correspondence, and publications regarding the activities of the Luso-American Business Council.
Subseries comprises files from a few other human rights organizations and legal groups in which Shestack was active throughout his career. Materials include memos, some correspondence, publications, and administrative files from each of the groups.
Reports, printed articles, some correspondence
Series files contain correspondence between Shestack, his colleagues, human rights activists, and noted politicians, throughout his career. The majority of the correspondence is professional in nature. Some correspondence is from Shestack on behalf of an organization. The first subseries is arranged chronologically by decade, while the second subseries is arranged alphabetically by subject, including some bound correspondence files that Shestack arranged by correspondent last name. One file contains some correspondence Shestack wrote to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Related correspondence, sometimes in large amounts, can be found throughout the American Bar Association, Organizations, and the Subject Files series.
The Chronological Correspondence subseries contains correspondence between Shestack and his colleagues arranged by decade. Most correspondence is of a professional nature and discusses Shestack's activities in law and human rights advocacy.
Subseries consists of correspondence arranged alphabetically by subject title. A few subject files are sets of correspondence bound by Shestack according to correspondent last name. Subject correspondence topics include the United States Holocaust Museum, the Philadelphia Bar Association Sitting Judges, as well as letters from Shestack to Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement.
Series contains large series of subject files arranged in five subseries, assembled by Jerome Shestack over the course of his career. The majority of the files relates to Shestack's professional work concerning the intersection of law and human rights, but a few personal subject files are also included. Files contain mostly correspondence, reports, and memoranda. There are a few recordings on audiocassette and video.
The series is arranged into these subseries: People, Countries, Events and Groups, Personal Binder Files, and Other Materials. Highlights of the series include subject files on President Jimmy Carter, George Bush, René Cassin, Bernard Segal, and many others; and materials on a series of 1970s seminars for lawyers in Israel. Personal files include biographical materials on Shestack's career; research on Eleanor Roosevelt and other topics, photographs, and awards and certificates. The last series contains a group of unfiled materials that were left intact.
Original media are closed to use. Listening and viewing copies must be made for access. Please contact the Rubenstein Library staff before coming to use this collection.
Materials in this subseries document Shestack's connections to many people, including many important political leaders and professional colleagues. Files contain correspondence between Shestack and his colleagues as well as reports and memoranda associated with specific people. Highlights of the subseries include files regarding President George Bush, President Jimmy Carter, Barry Goldwater, Estes Kefauver, and Bernard Segal. Files are arranged in alphabetical order by last name.
White House correspondence from President Jimmy Carter
Correspondence between Shestack and Segal and speeches by Segal.
Columns written by Marciarose Shestack, Jerome Shestack's wife
Materials in this subseries concern Shestack's interest and involvement with human rights and legal issues in different countries. The most substantial file groups pertain to: Argentina; China; Israel; Russia (and Soviet Union); and South Africa.
Some files contain reports and other documents concerning human rights in connection to various human rights and legal organizations of which Shestack was a member. Others contain testimony and trial information related to specific human rights violations and abuses. Subseries is arranged in alphabetical order by country.
Some related materials may be found in various sections of the Organizations series.
Correspondence and reports regarding Human Rights in Finland, some related to the activist group Helsinki Watch
Reports, correspondence, conference proceedings regarding human rights for Jewish people and general human rights in Israel
Reports and correspondence, some Helsinki Watch materials in context of Turkey
Memos, lists, reports and correspondence regarding a collaboration between Shestack's law group and a group in the USSR.
Subseries consists of materials documenting a range of conferences, symposia, seminars, awards events, and their associated organization or sponsor. Most are single folders, but larger file groups include an annual genocide convention (1949-1988), with correspondence by Warren Friedman; and an Israeli lawyers' seminar. There are many files on Jewish causes and human rights events.
This series contains several recordings on audiocassette and video, some containing trial testimony. Listening and viewing copies must be made for access.
Related materials can be found scattered in the other series in the collection. Arranged in alphabetical order by event or sponsor name.
Original media are closed to use. Listening or viewing copies must be made for access. Please contact the Rubenstein Library staff before coming to use these materials.
Recording of Wingspread, a meeting sponsored by the United Nations Association of the United States. Discussion between Shestack and William Wipfler moderated by Dan Price. Topics included the definition of human rights and President Carter's human rights policy.
Reports, brochures, correspondence and publications concerning genocide and the United States' ratification of the Genocide Convention
Correspondence and photocopied publications about genocide
Reports, publications, and correspondence on glasnost in the Soviet Union
Reports and correspondence concerning the Gruber Foundation philanthropy
Conference proceedings and agendas from multiple Armand Hammer conferences
Correspondence and university donation information
Correspondence and memorandums concerning Shestack's participation in the Lawyers Seminar Israel Workshop II
Correspondence and memorandums concerning Shestack's participation in the Lawyers Seminar Israel Workshop I
Reports, correspondence, and memoranda regarding the Lawyer's Seminar in Israel
Organizational Membership Lists, Personal Lists of Names and Addresses
Photos of attendees and speakers at the 1984 Armand Hammer Conference in Madrid.
Binder files from a panel on the Independence of the Judiciary. Shestack was a panelist.
NGO directories, and the United Nations Office of Public Information guide
Correspondence, election materials, and political reports concerning the Philadelphia Bar Association Sitting Judges
Materials put aside for a scrapbook to document Shestack's human rights work at specific events and activist groups.
Conference materials discuss the Freedom of Movement and the Uppsala Declaration
Binder files from the US Commission on Improving the Effectiveness of the UN Chicago Hearing
Binder files from the US Commission on Improving the Effectiveness of the UN Los Angeles Hearing
Subseries consists of materials of personal nature that Shestack originally stored in several binders. Files include biographical materials as well as materials that Shestack kept for personal research. These files also include some photos from Shestack's later career.
Articles and reports that Shestack used for his research on Eleanor Roosevelt.
Contains materials collected by Shestack of personal value such as published profiles of Shestack, personal letters, interview files for a biographical documentary, and awarded certificates
Includes MacBird by Barbara Garson and Chameleon: Poems translated from Hebrew by Raquel Chalfi
Files include articles, some correspondence, memorandums, and pamphlets collected in binders by Shestack for personal use. Materials are related to Human Rights and legal subjects and activities.
The Other Materials subseries contains loose, unfiled documents found throughout Shestack's original collection of files. The documents were placed into files and arranged by decade. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, and other documents related to Shestack's professional work.
Various loose documents arranged by decade. Most concern human rights and legal matters. Some documents retrieved from Shestack's personal desk.
This series consists of essays, speeches, articles, and book reviews written by Shestack over the course of his life and professional career. Most materials are related to legal and human rights work, but some personal writing is included as well, including eulogies, personal introductions, Shestack's World War II diary, and his autobiographical memoir.
Some draft copies of various writings are found throughout the series. Other writings are typed copies of materials written at an earlier date.
Related materials may be found in the Writings subseries of the American Bar Association series and throughout the Organizations series.
This subseries contains writings and speeches by Shestack on various human rights and legal topics. Arranged by decade.
Writings and speeches by Shestack written over the course of his career. Includes remarks on the law profession, human rights issues, keynote introductions, and eulogies.
Materials in this subseries include speeches, writings, articles, and book reviews written throughout Shestack's career, as well as his autobiographical memoir and a World War II diary. Materials also include materials from a seminar series for new legal professionals written and provided by Shestack. Arranged alphabetically.
Related written articles by Shestack may also be found in the Clippings subseries of Print Materials.
Autobiographical memoir of Shestack's childhood, typed and bound at a later date
Writings and lesson materials from a seminar series that Shestack created for professionals entering the legal field
Diary from Shestack's time in the military during World War II, typed and bound at a later date.
Photocopied articles written by Shestack as well as accompanying letters he sent to newspapers to request article publication
Subseries contains speech indexes kept by Shestack, and drafts of speeches by Shestack pertaining to various human rights and legal subjects. Files were originally bound in plastic binders. Loosely arranged in chronological order.
Bound speeches to insurance agents as part of Supreme Court work
Bound writings and speeches on International Law and World Peace Through Law
Various speeches bound with table of contents
Files house writings and speeches collected by Shestack that were written by friends and professional colleagues. Topics include human rights, legal work, and some are about Shestack.
Series consists of various printed publications collected by Shestack for professional and personal purposes. Most materials are from organizations of which Shestack was a member or on various subjects regarding human rights or the legal profession. Formats include serials, journals, reprints, reports, pamphlets and brochures, clippings of articles, and books collected by Shestack. Essays on Human Rights: Contemporary Issues and Jewish Perspectives, co-edited by Shestack, is also included.
Many other print materials can be found in the files of the American Bar Association and Organizations series. Published writings by Shestak are in the Writings and Speeches series.
The materials in this subseries consist of a variety of serials, journals, and reports related to Shestack's legal work as well as his participation in various human rights organizations.
Including but not limited to: Human Rights Watch, Marketing for Lawyers, Chronicle of Human Rights in the USSR, IRR's human rights, The Shingle, Lawyer's Committee Bulletin, Commonquest, Judicature
Including but not limited to state bar reports, Americas Watch reports, Helsinki Watch reports, conference reports, NGO reports, and country-based reports on human rights issues.
This subseries consists of brochures and pamphlets that Shestack collected from a variety of human rights organizations and events that he attended.
Includes pamphlets for galas, organization information, and human rights topics
This subseries contains clippings from various newspapers and other print publications related to Shestack's professional work. Most clippings of articles are written by others, though a few are written by Shestack himself, including many opinion editorials. Many clippings are photocopies. Files are loosely arranged in chronological order.
Clippings from various newspapers and print sources including but not limited to the Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Washington Post
The subseries contains books owned by Shestack including For Men in a Free World: A Survey of Human Rights in the US, a few booklet publications relating to Judaism and Jewish History, and Essays on Human Rights: Contemporary Issues and Jewish Perspectives, of which Shestack was a co-editor.
Collection of essays edited by David Sidorsky in collaboration with Sidney Liskofsky and Jerome Shestack
Jerome J. Shestack was a prominent Philadelphia lawyer known for his extensive work and leadership as a human rights advocate. He was born in Atlantic City, NJ on February 11, 1923. After serving in the Navy during World War II, Shestack received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1949. He lived with his family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he joined Schnader, Harrison, Segal and Lewis LLP as a practicing lawyer in 1955. During his time in law, Shestack was involved in a number of professional law organizations, including the American Bar Association, the International Bar Association, and the International Commission of Jurists. He served on the American Bar Association committee on judicial appointments, notably voting against the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork in 1987. He was President of the American Bar Association from 1997-1998.
Throughout his professional career, Shestack served as a human rights advocate for marginalized groups in America and around the world. He held leadership roles in several human rights advocacy groups and organizations, including the International League for Human Rights and the Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights. Through these organizations he advocated for the fair treatment of political dissidents and the mentally disabled. He was also an active member of the American Jewish Committee. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed Shestack as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, where he worked to identify and address the human rights needs of member nations. He served as the Ambassador until Ronald Reagan became president in 1980.
In 1991, Shestack joined Wolf Block Schorr and Solis-Cohen LLP as a practicing lawyer, where he worked until returning to Schnader Harrison Segal and Lewis as a retired partner in 2009. Recognized for his groundbreaking work in law and human rights advocacy, Shestack received the American Bar Association Medal in 2006, the highest honor awarded in the organization.
Jerome J. Shestack died in Philadelphia, August 28, 2011.
|1923 February 11||
Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey to Jewish parents
Served in the US Navy; Wounded on the USS Ticonderoga during World War II
Received Law degree from Harvard Law School
Married Marciarose Schleifer
Joined Schnader Harrison Segal and Lewis LLP in Philadelphia.He served as a
practicing lawyer there until 1991.
Joined the American Bar Association
Joined the first Board of Trustees for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights
Joined the International League for the Rights of Man (later known as the
International League for Human Rights)
Joined the American Jewish Committee
Became the Chair of the International League for Human Rights
|1979 December 10||
Appointed as the US Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
by President Jimmy Carter
Advocated against mistreatment of political dissidents, notably Andrei
Voted against the Supreme Court Nomination of Robert Bork, deeming him "not
Joined Wolf Block Schorr and Solis-Cohen LLP in Philadelphia as a practicing
President of the American Bar Association
Awarded the American Bar Association Medal
Rejoined Schnader Harrison Segal and Lewis LLP as a retired partner
|2011 August 18||
Died in Philadelphia
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- ABA Center for Human Rights
- American Bar Association
- American Bar Association. Commission on the Mentally Disabled
- American Bar Association. Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities
- Bork, Robert H.
- Human Rights Archive (Duke University)
- International League for Human Rights
- Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Shestack, Jerome J.
- Sakharov, Andreĭ, 1921-1989
- United Nations Commission on Human Rights
- United States. Supreme Court -- Officials and employees -- Selection and appointment
- Civil rights
- Civil rights -- Law and legislation
- Disappeared persons -- Argentina
- Dissenters -- 20th century
- Human Rights
- Human rights advocacy
- Human Rights -- Periodicals
- Human rights -- Law and legislation
- Human rights workers -- United States -- Correspondence
- International law and human rights
- Jews -- Social conditions -- 20th century
- Jews, American -- Correspondence
- Judges -- Selection and appointment -- United States
- Justice, Administration of -- United States -- 20th century
- Lawyers -- United States -- Correspondence
- Mental health laws -- 20th century
- People with mental disabilities -- Legal status, laws, etc.
- Political persecution -- 20th century
- Political rights
- Social justice -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American
- Argentina -- Politics and government -- 1955-1983
- Philadelphia (Pa.)
- Soviet Union -- Politics and government -- 1953-1985
- United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century
The Jerome J. Shestack papers were received as a gift by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 2014.