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Judge Carolyn Dimmick: Women’s Advances in Law Careers Are ‘So Heartening’

Senior Judge Carolyn Dimmick of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington earned her law degree in 1953 when female lawyers were rare and, so too, were opportunities for them.

In honor of Women’s History Month, a new video profile explores the highlights and challenges of Judge Dimmick’s groundbreaking and highly distinguished career, going from her first legal profession job in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office to her appointment by President Ronald Reagan to the federal bench in the Western District of Washington, where she continues to work.

Since her early career when she encountered few other female attorneys, “It’s just been so heartening to see how it’s developed,” Dimmick said. “Men are accepting it and women are accepting it. You’re a lawyer, you’re not a ‘woman lawyer’ or a ‘lady lawyer.’ You’re just a lawyer.”

During her career, the judge has knocked down a few doors and broken through a few glass ceilings. Her legacy is that — by today’s standards — her career path is unremarkable. According to her, that’s progress.

Related Topics: Judicial History