Female leaders in the judicial system

BAKERSFIELD, California (KERO) – At the beginning of Women’s History Month, we’re taking a look at some of the most significant women leaders in our community. The Kern County Supreme Court has 38 judges and eight commissioners. Of these, 11 are judges and four are female commissioners.

“When I became a lawyer, I think the women’s lawyers in my area were about 15% to 20%,” Judge Judith K. Dulcich said. “So there have been a lot of changes over the last 30 years.”

Judge Dulcich and Judge Colette M. Humphrey are two of these women and both have held one of the highest positions in the court: the presiding judge.

“The presiding judge can do the job, he’s involved a lot, you make administrative decisions, you also manage your court calendars, the jury trial schedule, the preparation schedule,” Judge Humphrey said.

Judge Humphrey and Judge Dulcich are the only two women in Kern County Supreme Court history to hold that position.

Judge Humphrey was the first female judge to be elected as the judge. His desire to be in court began when he was in the 7th grade and he saw his first trial on an excursion.

“I fell into my job at the DA’s office quite unexpectedly because I came across a friend in the Kern DA’s office,” Judge Humphrey said. “I fell in love with it and stayed there for 12 and a half years before I became a judge.”

Judge Dulcich says he blames their success on women who have come before them and paved the way.

“There were women judges, but when we started there weren’t many, and they were in the minority. They couldn’t find a job because they were women, ”she said. “We didn’t live like that. The doors were open.”

Now that you look at our local legal system, you will find women at the forefront.

“There was a woman in charge of public advocacy, there is a female attorney, a female provincial council, a female city attorney, and a female president and assistant, all at the same time,” she said.

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