Justice Diana Murphy has been honored this year by Minnesota Lawyer for her "Outstanding Service to the Profession." After spending 4 years on the bench in state court, then 14 years on the federal District Court in Minnesota, and then another 22 years on the federal appellate bench in the Eighth Circuit, she has spent almost half of her life on the bench, and she's 84 years old.
Judge Murphy was not only the first female justice on the Eighth Circuit, she was the only from 1994 to 2016.
An Award Winning Judge's Advice
Judge Murphy may currently be on senior status from the Eighth Circuit, but she still prides herself as an advocate for women lawyers and judges. When she first took bench on the Eighth Circuit, she was commissioned to do a report on gender equality in the circuit's employment. She noted that the number of women justices (1) and those in management positions, did not comport with the numbers of women in service oriented roles.
Judge Murphy had to fight hard to get her first law firm job, and explains to other lawyers that "you have to be really pushy" and you have to fight really hard for your clients and what you want.
She believes that lawyers shouldn't be afraid to be pushy and get their foot in the door and explain why they'd be a good fit.