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This painting of 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diana Murphy hangs in her chambers in Minneapolis. (Submitted image: Jason Bouldin, Bouldin Studio)
This painting of 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diana Murphy hangs in her chambers in Minneapolis. (Submitted image: Jason Bouldin, Bouldin Studio)

Attorneys of the Year: Judge Diana Murphy

outstanding-serviceJudge Diana Murphy’s career advice: “You have to fight for others and you also have to fight for your own situation. You also have to be willing understand that you will make mistakes. You have to just keep learning.”

Murphy first worked at Lindquist & Vennum and deeply admired litigator Edward Glennon. But he was never in the office. So she telephoned him and sold herself. He bought, somewhat grudgingly, but eventually came around. “You have to be really pushy. Don’t be afraid to be pushy. You want to do it and that’s a benefit to [the court or the firm] but you’ve got to get in there and talk to them,” Murphy advised.

Murphy has been a judge since 1976 and on the 8th Circuit bench since 1994. She was the first woman on that bench and was the only woman until the appointment of Judge Jane Kelly in 2016. She also chaired the United States Sentencing Commission from 1999 to 2004.

It was inevitable that Murphy would become an advocate of women lawyers and judges, and she has embraced that opportunity. “It’s a joy to see good men and women lawyers and to see how many women have succeeded,” she said. “I want to help other women.”

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