Teri Jackson: Superior court judge

May 21, 2011

By Andrea Cohen 

Teri Jackson

1977 Stevenson College, politics graduate Teri Jackson spent many years as a highly respected trial attorney, and in 2002 she was the first African American woman appointed as a judge to the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco. Jackson is also an adjunct professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law.

Prior to becoming Superior Court judge, Jackson gained extensive experience in both civil and criminal litigation at the prestigious law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, with specialties in the areas of Proposition 65, employment, trade secret, environmental, real estate, and bankruptcy law. For over 14 years, she was a prosecutor for the San Francisco District Attorney and the San Mateo County District Attorney. As assistant DA in San Francisco, she was managing attorney for homicide, domestic violence, and misdemeanor trials.

Jackson has served as chair of the State Bar of California Committee of Bar Examiners; a board member of the California Court Reporter's Board, Northern California; president of the Black Women Lawyers Association; and a board member of the Peninsula Community Foundation. Throughout her career, Jackson has been dedicated to encouraging increased participation by women and people of color in the legal profession. She has also been active in education, serving as a mentor and encouraging young people to pursue higher education.

"I greatly value the education I received at UCSC," says Jackson, who graduated from high school with honors at the top of her class when she was just 15. "I was just 16 when I went to college, and UCSC provided a supportive environment that helped me thrive."

Jackson has especially fond memories of legendary faculty members Herman Blake and Carlos Noreña and of mentors Josie King, of the Oakes College counseling staff, and Professor Carolyn Martin Shaw (then Carolyn Clark) of Kresge College. Jackson also appreciated UCSC's narrative evaluation system: "It provided an objective reflection of my strengths and weaknesses, something that's needed in education today."

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