Clarine Nardi Riddle


Maurer School of Law Academy of Law Alumni Fellows (1999)
B.S. 1971, J.D. 1974
Wells Senior Recognition Award (1971)


Described as the "people's lawyer" when she served as Connecticut's 22nd attorney general, Clarine Nardi Riddle has been an activist for social change since her formative years at Indiana University. Riddle graduated with honors in mathematics from Indiana University in 1971 and was awarded the prestigious Herman B. Wells Award for Outstanding Senior Student. Active as a student, she was elected the YWCA national student vice president. Her activism steered her towards the study of law, and she received her J.D. from IU in 1974. While a law student, Riddle was senior editor of the former interdisciplinary law journal Iustitia; coordinator of the women's Law Caucus; the sole student member of the IU Campus Planning Committee; and a founding member and treasurer for the Board of Directors of the Student Legal Services.

Riddle was the senior vice president for government affairs and general counsel of the National Multi Housing Council and National Apartment Association Joint Legislative Program in Washington, DC. In addition to her general counsel duties, as senior vice president, she has lead responsibility for planning and implementing strategies for all federal legislative and regulatory issues of interest to the multifamily housing industry, which provides housing for more than 30 million people. From 2003 to 2013, she was the Chief of Staff for Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. Currently, she is a counsel at Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP in Washington, D.C. and chairs the firm's government affairs practice. Also, she serves on the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Center for Constitutional Democracy Board of Directors, the Board of the Connecticut Policy Institute, and the Board of Advisors to the National Bureau of Asian Research.

From 1989 to 1991, Riddle was appointed the attorney general of the state of Connecticut, after her predecessor, Joseph I. Lieberman, was elected to the U.S. Senate. Then form 1991 to 1993, she served as a judge of the Connecticut Superior Court, Connecticut's trial court of general jurisdiction, where she presided over cases involving residential and commercial housing, criminal, juvenile, child abuse, foreclosure, and zoning matters. She also served as a member of the Judicial department's Executive Committee and on the Legislative Committee of the Connecticut Judges Association. In 1989, Riddle successfully argued the case of Hoffman v. Connecticut Department of Income maintenance before the United States Supreme Court. Prior to moving to Connecticut, Riddle was a staff attorney with the Indiana Legislative Service Agency from 1974 to 1978. There she drafted major codifications fo the state's zoning, education, retirement, and school finance laws.

Riddle has given numerous speeches and written publications in her effort to effect social change. When she was the chairwoman of the Connecticut Bar Association's Committee on Gender Bias in the Legal Profession, she brought to the forefront lawyers' awareness of sexual harassment and other gender issues in the profession. She co-authored Child Abuse and Neglect: A Non-Confrontational Approach, Attorneys General and New Methods of Dispute Resolution (1990) and was editor for the pamphlet "Divorce: Your Rights and Responsibilities" (1993). While in Indiana, she was active with the Indiana University School of Law Board of Visitors, Indiana University School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Indiana Civil Liberties Union Board of Directors. In Connecticut, she was on the attorney general's Blue Ribbon Commission; the chief justice's Task force on Gender, Justice, and the Courts; the governor's Child Support Commission; the governor's Missing Children Commission; and the governor's Task Force on Justice for Abused Children. Riddle served as chair of the 1998 Real Estate Summit in Washington, DC, and now serves on the boards of directors of numerous fair housing and real estate publications and volunteers as a student tutor for DC Cares.

Riddle has been the recipient of many awards for her talent as a lawyer and her dedication to improving the quality of life for others. In 1993, she received the annual Award for Contributions to Women and the Law in Connecticut by the Hartford Association of Women Attorneys. In 1991, she was the recipient of the Citizen Award by the Connecticut Task Force on Children's Constitutional Rights and was awarded a doctor of humane letters degree by Saint Joseph College in Hartford. She has been named Woman of the Year by the Greater Hartford Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs and Connecticut History Maker by the U.S. Department of Labor. She was the youngest person, and first woman, to serve as attorney general of the state of Connecticut.