Grove City College alumnus J. Nicholas Ranjan ’00 took a ceremonial oath of office Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 to serve as district judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Ranjan, who graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in History, was sworn in to the office on August 1. His investiture on Friday provided friends, family and colleagues the opportunity to celebrate the achievement. That group included Grove City College President Paul J. McNulty ’80, former U.S. Deputy Attorney General.
“On behalf of Grove City College, I offer congratulations to Judge Ranjan. He is an extraordinarily talented lawyer with the wisdom and temperament to render fair and impartial judgement in the Western District,” McNulty said. “I have the utmost confidence that he will be a credit to the legal profession and his alma mater as he assumes the immense responsibility of the federal bench.”
The College’s String Quartet, comprised of Allison Smith ’21, Christopher Ostertag ’20, Julia Kate Brackbill ’20, and Ivy Nowakoski ’20, provided music for the event. Ranjan, of Allison Park, Pa., was orchestra concertmaster during his student days.
Ranjan, was nominated for the federal bench by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 10, 2019.
He is a cum laude graduate of University of Michigan Law School, where he served as a note editor of the Michigan Law Review. He began his legal career serving as the Simon Karas fellow with the Ohio Solicitor General and then served as a judicial clerk to Judge Deborah L. Cook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. For the next 14 years, Ranjan practiced at the international law firm of K&L Gates LLP in its Pittsburgh headquarters, first as an associate and then as an equity partner. His practice focused on complex commercial litigation, appellate litigation, and domestic arbitration.
Ranjan has been recognized by Chambers USA, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Litigation Counsel of America, Pittsburgh Leadership Conference and Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. But his most prized honor was twice accepting the Fred Rogers Good Neighbor Award for the recruitment of middle school mentors. In his spare time, he is a mentor to middle school students, a rec league basketball player and an accomplished violinist and composer.