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MCLEs That Matter

Hon. Victoria Kolakowski

Judge Victoria Kolakowski is the first openly transgender trial judge in the United States; she was elected to the Alameda County Superior Court in November 2010 and reelected unopposed in 2016. As a judge, she has served in both civil and criminal trial assignments.

She is passionate about ensuring and expanding access to justice, particularly for those with limited resources.  She serves on the Judicial Council of California’s Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness, and is the California Council of Churches’ appointee to the California Access to Justice Commission.

Judge Kolakowski is a former President of the International Association of LGBTQ+ Judges, and of the Earl Warren American Inn of Court chapter.

She was an attorney for twenty-one years in Louisiana and California, serving as a sole practitioner, attorney in a small firm, as general counsel for a publicly traded company, as a senior government utility regulatory attorney, and as an administrative law judge for two different California agencies.

Since coming out publicly in 1989, she has been a leader in numerous local, state and national LGBT legal, political and spiritual organizations. Her many accomplishments include co-authoring Berkeley, California’s domestic partner public registration ordinance in 1991 and co-chairing the board of directors of the Transgender Law Center, an organization focused on the well-being and protection of transgender individuals. She has been a leader in educating the judiciary on transgender issues.

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