Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court
Justice Christine Durham has been on the Utah Supreme Court since 1982, and served as Chief Justice and Chair of the Utah Judicial Council from 2002 to 2012. She previously served on the state trial court after a number of years in private practice. She received her A.B. with honors from Wellesley College and a J.D. from Duke University, where she is an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees. She is the Past-President of the Conference of Chief Justices of the United States, and also the past-chair of the American Bar Association’s Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, the entity that accredits American law schools. She is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, the Board of Overseers for the Rand Corporation’s Institute for Civil Justice, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Association.
Past professional service includes the governing boards of the American Inns of Court Foundation, the Appellate Judges Conference of the ABA, the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession, and the Federal Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure. She is also a past president of the National Association of Women Judges, and was that organization’s Honoree of the Year in 1997. Justice Durham has been active in judicial education, and was a founder of the Leadership Institute in Judicial Education. She helped create and lead the Utah Coalition for Civic Character and Service Education and served on the Utah Commission on Civic Education. She was an adjunct professor for many years at the University of Utah College of Law, teaching state constitutional law, and served for twelve years on the Utah Constitutional Revision Commission.
She has received honorary degrees from four Utah universities and has been recognized nationally for her work in judicial education and efforts to improve the administration of justice. In 2007 she received the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence; and in 2008 she received the “Transparent Courthouse” Award for contributions to judicial accountability and administration from the Institute for the Advancement of the Legal System at the University of Denver. In September 2012, Justice Durham received the Eighth Annual Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence from the American Judicature Society. Justice Durham is currently serving on the ABA President’s Task Force on Legal Education and as a Member of the Advisory Board for the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Project of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at Denver University.