Christine Durham, the chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court since April 2002, graduated from Wellesley with honors in 1967. Over the course of three semesters, Judge Durham attended three different law schools, finally receiving her J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 1971.
At the time of her graduation, few law firms were offering career opportunities for women. Therefore, while her husband, George Durham II, attended medical school, Judge Durham held a variety of jobs that supplemented her law education. She taught courses in medical jurisprudence to Duke University medical students, worked as a research assistant to pass medical legislation, and acted as a consultant with protective services for the elderly.
Judge Durham moved to Utah with her family in 1973, where she taught family law and medicine at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, and she wrote law briefs for the Utah attorney general’s office. For four years, she was a partner at the Utah law firm Johnson, Durham & Moxley. In 1978, Judge Durham was named a state district judge, and in 1982, she was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court. When Judge Durham was appointed chief justice of the state Supreme Court in 2002, she was the first woman to hold that position in Utah.
Christine Durham is a founding member of the National Association of Women Judges, a council member of the American Law Institute, and a member of the executive committee for the Appellate Judges Conference. She has been active in improving the judicial system in Utah and improving education about the justice system in Utah’s public schools. Judge Durham has also been recognized in Who’s Who in American Women. She currently resides in Salt Lake City with her husband.
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