North Dakota

In November, members of SBAND’s Women Lawyers Section, state and federal judges, University of North Dakota Law students and faculty, state selection commissioners and others attended a new collaborative Infinity Project program focused on the judiciary – Judicial Service: A Guide to Judicial Application, Selection, and Appointment (photo right).

A woman has never served as an Article III federal judge in North Dakota. The state’s one position on the Eighth Circuit and one of its two federal district court positions are held by men.  A second federal district court seat is currently vacant.  Alice Senechal and Clare R Hochhalter currently serves as a Magistrate Judges and Shon Hastings as a Bankruptcy Judge.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of the state’s 2963 lawyers are women (SBAND 8/17).  According to Gavel Gap, 21% of North Dakota’s state court judges are white women compared to 44% of the population and there are no women of color compared to 6% of the population.  One of five state Supreme Court judges (20%) is a woman.


Recent News

SBAND program explores judicial appointment process (2017)

It’s Time for a Federal Judicial Nominating Commission in North Dakota (2017)

Confirm Jennifer Klemestrud Puhl for the Eighth Circuit (2016)

Senate hearing friendly for appointment to replace Fargo-based appeals judge (2016)

Puhl, federal appeals court nominee from ND, slated for Senate hearing (2016)

North Dakota names first ever female bankruptcy judge (2011)



Judicial Nominating Commission

So, You’re Applying for a Judgeship

Gender Fairness in North Dakota Courts

Judicial nominating commission statutes

Ballotpedia:  Judicial Selection in North Dakota

The Women Lawyers Section of the State Bar Association of North Dakota was formed in 1998. Membership in the section is open to all, regardless of gender. The mission statement of the Women Lawyers Section is:  The Women Lawyers Section of the State Bar Association of North Dakota is a voluntary organization dedicated to the fair and just development and application of the law by supporting and advancing the practice and visibility of women in the law through programming, networking opportunities, and free interchange of ideas.  Contact the current President:  Lori Conroy



Please contact the following Infinity Project organizer in North Dakota for more information or to get involved:

Tim Purdon:

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