KEYNOTE ADDRESS: A CONVERSATION WITH THE HONORABLE KATHRYN MICKLE WERDEGAR, JUSTICE OF THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT
Panelists: Cheryl Lee Johnson and Kathleen J. Tittle1
Johnson: We’re very pleased and honored to have with us Justice Kathryn Werdegar who has been on the California Supreme Court since 1994.
First, a few words about her background. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley, she went to Boalt Hall School of Law where she was one of two women in a class of 350. She was first in her class, and she was the first female elected Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review. One of her classmates, Pete Wilson, our former governor, remarked that in the first semester, "everybody wanted to carry her books." After the first semester, "everybody wanted to see her notes."
After her second year, she married her physician husband, and they went to Washington, D.C. so that he could pursue his career. There, she enrolled in George Washington University School of Law where, once again, she graduated first in her class, was on Law Review and Order of Coif. While in Washington she joined the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Among other things, she worked on speeches for Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and assisted in writing an amicus brief urging the release of Martin Luther King, Jr., from jail.