Judge, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Year Graduated: 1979
Judge Johnnie Rawlinson, '79, became the first McGeorge graduate to sit on a federal appellate bench when she was appointed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2000. She is also the first African-American woman to serve on that court. Rawlinson served as a U.S. District Judge, District of Nevada, for only two years before being nominated to the nation's second-highest court by President Bill Clinton. Prior to her judicial service, she spent 18 years with the Office of District Attorney, Clark County, Nevada. She rose from deputy district attorney to chief deputy district attorney to assistant district attorney, where she supervised civil, family support and administrative divisions from 1995 to 1998. A North Carolina native Rawlinson maintains her chambers in Las Vegas where she has spent her entire legal career.