Michael Bernard Mukasey (pronounced /mjuːˈkeɪzi/) (Russian: Майкл Бернард Мукасей, Hebrew: מייקל מוקייסי, born July 28, 1941) is a lawyer and former judge who served as the 81st Attorney General of the United States. Mukasey, an American lawyer, was appointed following the resignation of Alberto Gonzales. Mukasey also served for 18 years as a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, six of those years as Chief Judge. He is the recipient of several awards, most notably the Learned Hand Medal of the Federal Bar Council. Mukasey was the second Jewish U.S. Attorney General. Mukasey is a partner at the international law firm Debevoise & Plimpton.
Michael Mukasey's father was born near Baranavichy in the Russian Empire (modern-day Belarus) and emigrated to the U.S. in 1921. Michael Mukasey was born in the Bronx in 1941. Mukasey graduated in 1959 from the Ramaz School, a Modern Orthodox Jewish prep school in Manhattan. His wife, Susan, was later a teacher and headmistress of the lower school at Ramaz, and both of their children (Marc and Jessica) attended the school.
As an undergraduate student, Mukasey was the editorials editor of the Columbia Daily Spectator at Columbia University, where he received his B.A. in 1963. At Yale Law School he received his LL.B. in 1967. Mukasey practiced law for 20 years in New York City, serving for four years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York in which he worked with Rudolph Giuliani. In 1976, he joined the New York law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, to which he returned after retirement from the U.S. District Court. Mukasey began teaching at Columbia Law School in the Spring of 1993 and has taught there every spring semester since.