The Honorable Dorothy McLaughlin

Riverside County Superior Court, Department F501


The Hon. Dorothy McLaughlin is a judge for the Riverside County Superior Court in California. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2018.

She is a registered Democrat.

Judge McLaughlin received her B.A. from Brown University in 1996. After college, McLaughlin taught high school English in Switzerland. After moving back to the United States, she interned at several publications before ultimately deciding to pursue her law degree. She attended Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, where she earned her J.D. in 2002.

After law school, McLaughlin first clerked for one year with the Hon. Dana Fabe with the Alaska Supreme Court beginning in 2002. She then moved to Memphis, Tennessee to serve a year-long clerkship with the Hon. Ronald L. Gilman with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003. Upon completing her clerkships, McLaughlin began her legal career on the West Coast, joining the law firm Cooley Godward LLP in 2004, where she practiced briefly as an associate out of their San Francisco office. She then practiced for one year at Keker and Van Nest LLP.

Her legal career would then take a turn into the public sector when she accepted a position as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California in Riverside in 2007. During her five-year tenure there, McLaughlin would rise to the level of deputy chief and work on cases involving drug trafficking, assaults, attempted murder, and financial fraud.

In 2012, McLaughlin became a career law clerk for the Hon. Sheri Pym, U.S. Magistrate Judge at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, whom she previously worked with at the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Three years later, she entered back into private practice, joining Best, Best, and Krieger as of counsel in 2015. She would hold that position until her appointment to the Superior Court in 2018.

While on the bench, Judge McLaughlin has presided over a family law calendar assignment at the Riverside Family Law Court.

In her free time, Judge McLaughlin enjoys doing outdoor activities with her husband and two children.

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