Alumna Elected to Top Post
January 25, 2015
The Honorable Julie Frantz ’75 was elected president of the National Association of Women Judges. She is the first from Oregon to hold the position.
NAWJ was founded in 1979 and currently has 1,240 active members from all 50 states at every judicial level. The organization’s mission is “to promote the judicial role in protecting the rights of individuals under the rule of law through strong, committed, and diverse judicial leadership, fairness, and equality in the courts, and equal access to justice.”
“NAWJ presents cutting-edge education at our annual and midyear conferences,” says Frantz, “often involving U.S. Supreme Court Justices and drawing the most recognized experts in the fields being explored. Through the efforts of our 14 district directors and numerous state chairs across the country we offer a variety of programs and events. Our Color of Justice and FairGirls programs expose school-age girls, particularly in impoverished areas, to the possibility of a legal, and perhaps judicial, career. Human trafficking, immigration, and tribal land issues, which affect our most vulnerable populations, are a primary area of focus. NAWJ was recognized by the White House for its work on the passage of the VAWA. The Informed Voters Project is a civics education initiative that brings attention to the critical necessity of an independent and impartial judiciary. Women in Prison and Success Inside and Out are programs that help incarcerated women maintain contact with their families and prepare to transition into the community. Last spring, NAWJ sponsored a compelling play about bias and intolerance, Anne and Emmett, which was presented in the Supreme Court.”
“In many areas of the country, it remains a challenge for women and minorities to acquire the experience necessary to position themselves for advancement to leadership and judicial roles,” Frantz says. “Mentoring law students, inviting them to our courtrooms, and providing tips and information though our Mentorjet program all help prepare women and minorities to apply for intern, extern, and judicial clerk positions. A panel at our most recent conference presented strategies for increasing the number of qualified women and minorities appointed to notable positions, such as receiver in Bankruptcy court or special master.”
“Judges are enriched by meeting and exchanging ideas with colleagues from different regions, diverse backgrounds, and all court levels,” she says. “This collegiality is the fabric of which NAWJ is woven.”
Frantz has served on the Multnomah County Circuit Court bench since 1994, and is Chief Criminal Judge. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and currently serves on the Board of Visitors for Lewis & Clark Law School.