Patrick O. Patterson has practiced law since 1972, litigating many employment discrimination class actions and other civil rights and public interest cases in various parts of the country. In May 2010, he joined the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Washington, D.C., where he serves as Senior Counsel to EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien.
Patterson previously was Assistant Counsel and Western Regional Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in New York and Los Angeles, and before that he was a staff attorney at Milwaukee Legal Services. He has also taught at the University of Wisconsin Law School and UCLA Law School. From 1991 to 2010, his law and mediation practice was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Patterson was an associate editor of the third edition of Lindemann & Grossman, Employment Discrimination Law (1996), and an executive editor of the 2008 supplement to the fourth edition of the same treatise. Among his professional activities immediately before joining the EEOC, he was one of the counsel for plaintiffs in Lewis v. City of Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 2191 (2010), and co-author, with Barry Goldstein, of “Ricci v. DeStefano: Does it Herald an ‘Evil Day,’ or Does it Lack ‘Staying Power’?,” 40 U. Mem. L. Rev. 705 (2010).
Patterson has been a frequent speaker on civil rights law and litigation at continuing legal education programs in the U.S., and has also spoken on American civil rights law at conferences in Japan and Hungary. His B.A. and J.D. are from Columbia. He is the husband of Barbara, a lawyer and retired human resources executive, and the father of Kira, an undergraduate at Tufts University.