Marilyn J. Holmes

Consultant, Self-Employed

Class Year


Professional Background

Received my J.D. from Georgetown University in 1975, clerked for a judge on the DC Court of Appeals, worked as an attorney for 10 years at the FTC, then moved to the federal judiciary where I handled HR litigation and served as ethics counsel. After retiring from government, I consulted on numerous government ethics projects in Ukraine.

How has being an English graduate from Duke University helped shape your professional success?

As an English (and French) major, I developed skills in research, analysis, writing, and oral presentations that are essential to the legal work I performed throughout my professional career. Though I did not work in a literary field, on many occasions I have drawn on literary anecdotes, characters, and plot developments to make legal points in illuminating (and entertaining) ways. I also believe my lifelong love of literature has brought personal growth and satisfaction that has sustained me through the vicissitudes and stresses of my career.

Marilyn J. Holmes