McGeorge School of Law

Profile: Steven Kosach

Steven Kosach
Steven Kosach

Class 1972

Senior District Court Judge State of Nevada

In 1969, Judge Steve Kosach began his schooling at McGeorge with a Purple Heart and a Silver Star for Heroism. A Lieutenant in Vietnam, Kosach was no stranger to tough situations, and McGeorge was no exception. "War was physically and emotionally challenging but I really enjoyed the mental rigor of the law."

Kosach says that McGeorge further developed logic, clear thinking and the ability to compartmentalize issues. His favorite memories from his law school days center around the rigor of his McGeorge education. "I was a top athlete in college and a Lieutenant in combat, and those things were challenging, but law school was challenging in a different way. It wasn't about inherent physical talent, but about understanding and applying issues and solving problems. There was a lot of intellectual pressure that made us all competitive, not so much with our classmates but with ourselves."

He speaks fondly of the professors. "The professors were all incredibly accomplished. In Vietnam, I never asked one of my soldiers to do something I wouldn't do myself and it was the same way at McGeorge. I knew that the professors were at top of their field and had done all of the hard things they were asking their students to do. In fact, it was those hard things that got them where they were." He goes on to talk about a related, favorite classroom moment. "My favorite classroom experience was in our first quarter. One of our classmates stood up and boldly stated, 'you know, saying it louder doesn't make it any clearer.' From that day forward, I focused on the issues rather than being intimidated by the volume of work to be done."

After graduating from McGeorge, he worked as a clerk to California Superior Court Judge Robert Cole. He also gained experience with the Sacramento County District Attorney, an attorney for the City of Reno, as a private practice attorney specializing in civil litigation, and then as the managing partner of a large law firm. In 1990, he ran for the Department 8 Judgeship of the Second Judicial District Court. He was elected and served in that post from 1991 until he retired in late 2012. Now, he is a Senior District Court Judge and works on cases of his choice all around the state of Nevada.

As he reflects about his greatest legal accomplishment, he talks about being elected to the Department 8 Judgeship. "I ran against an incumbent. I was encouraged to run because of my well-rounded life experiences. My greatest legal accomplishment was being unopposed three times after that. When the people tell you that you are a fair, honest judge, it's hard not to be proud of that."

Speaking of pride, he holds his life accomplishments closest to his heart. "I've been married for 42 years. I have three children, and six grandchildren. I really love them and they love me back. I went out today and played soccer with my three-year old grandson, then we blew bubbles, and after that we played catch. My current goals are to stay healthy so that I can continue spending time with my grandchildren and teaching them from my life experiences."

Speaking of teaching, mentorship ties all of Judge Kosach's accomplishments together. "Whether it be mentoring my law clerks, or teaching my grandchildren how to make their bubbles bigger, I have a knack for mentoring people. I've had my law clerks tell me they feel 'lucky' to work for me and I take that seriously. Life is all about sharing knowledge and handing down lessons. It's what my McGeorge professors did for me."