The Judge Who Climbed Mountains

8 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2017

See all articles by Robert V. Percival

Robert V. Percival

University of Maryland - Francis King Carey School of Law

Date Written: March 13, 2017


Shirley and Seth Hufstedler loved to climb mountains. The week before the U.S. Department of Education opened its doors in 1980, a profile of them reported that their “favorite hobby is mountain climbing” and noted they had made five trips to the Nepalese Himalayas. When interviewed decades later, Shirley Hufstedler fondly recalled how she and Seth “walked up and down mountains all over the world.”

Those were not the only mountains Shirley Hufstedler climbed. To ascend to the highest ranks of the legal profession she had to overcome enormous obstacles then facing women who pursued a legal career. Although the dream of making a woman’s first ascent to the Supreme Court ultimately eluded her, she blazed a trail for those who followed.

Keywords: Judge Hufstedler, Department of Education, Ninth Circuit, Feeder Judges, Federal Judges, Civil Rights

Suggested Citation

Percival, Robert V., The Judge Who Climbed Mountains (March 13, 2017). Stanford Law Review, Vol. 69, March 2017, U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-8, Available at SSRN:

Robert V. Percival (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Francis King Carey School of Law ( email )

500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States

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