Judge Ann Montgomery was welcomed when she started practicing law in 1974 in the U.S. attorney’s office, especially after winning a few trials. She was appointed in 1983 to the Hennepin County Municipal Court, which then merged with the 4th Judicial District. She became a federal magistrate judge in 1994 and a District Court judge in 1996.
There has been progress for women in appointments to the bench and in general counsel’s offices but there are still obstacles in “big law,” Montgomery said. The proverbial glass ceiling is still there. “It’s really tough for women senior partners to get to the very top. I think there are good firms,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery has enjoyed her work with Judicial Branch, a committee of the Federal Judicial Conference. It has focused on establishing appropriate communications with the other branches of government, for all participants to understand their disparate roles and checks and balances.
Montgomery worked with the Latino Legal Experience, which hosted her friend, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, last year and is ongoing.
“I’ve loved the job. We have a strong tradition of a good work ethic [on the bench]. I’m proud to be a member of it,” Montgomery concluded.