O'Leary, Kathleen E. (1951-)

Kathleen O'Leary's interest in law began while she was a student at Loyola Marymount University. After earning her B.A. in Political Science, she went on to Southwestern University, where she graduated in 1975. After graduation she spent several years as a public defender and credits her success as a jurist to her experience as a litigator. When asked why she opted for a career in public service law, she responded that it was the best opportunity for women “because most women in private practice were researchers.” Governor Jerry Brown first appointed O'Leary a judge of the West Orange County Municipal Court in 1981. In 1986 Governor George Deukmejian appointed her to the superior court. It was here that Justice O'Leary gained recognition as the first ...

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