In memory of Shirley Mount Hufstedler.

Position:Former Stanford Law School graduate, US Secretary of Education, US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit judge, attorney, and advocate - Testimonial

U.S. Secretary of Education

The Stanford Law Review dedicates this Issue to one of the most distinguished graduates of Stanford Law School, Shirley Mount Hufstedler U.S. Secretary of Education, federal judge, attorney, and advocate. Her pioneering life shines as an inspiring example of the power of persistence, brilliance, and adventurousness.

Secretary Hufstedler passed away on March 30, 2016. The following tributes are written by people who came to know her in various aspects of her career. President Jimmy Carter, who appointed her Secretary of Education; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a fellow trailblazer; Judge Dorothy W. Nelson, who followed her on the Ninth Circuit; Justice Dennis M. Perluss, a former clerk and colleague of hers at Morrison & Foerster; Janet Cooper Alexander, who also clerked for her; and Robert Percival, another former clerk and colleague of hers at the Department of Education.

Shirley Mount graduated at the top of her class from Stanford Law School in 1949. (1) She had been one of only five women in her entering class and was one of only two to graduate. (2) She was also one of the cofounders of the Stanford Law Review, (3) The only woman on that first volume, (4) she served on the Editorial Board as the Law Review's Article & Book Review Editor. (5)

Upon graduation, Shirley Mount married fellow Stanford Law student and Law Review cofounder Seth Hufstedler and moved to Los Angeles to begin her legal career. (6) She was unable to find work at any of the big law firms, so she began working for various solo practitioners and developed a reputation for her work in complex civil litigation. (7) It was during this time that her only son, Steven, was born. (8) In 1960, she was appointed Special Legal Consultant to the Attorney General of California in the complex Colorado River litigation that was then before the Supreme Court. (9)

Shirley Mount Hufstedler began her judicial career in 1961, when she was named to the Los Angeles Superior Court, the only woman among the court's 120 judges. (10) She was responsible for the creation of the "written tentative opinion"--now quite common--and a variety of other administrative improvements. (11) Five years later, she was appointed Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal. (12)

In 1968, President Lyndon B.Johnson appointed Shirley Mount Hufstedler to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. (13) She was only the second woman to serve on a federal circuit...

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