The Honorable Martha A. Matthews

Los Angeles County Superior Court, Department 424


The Hon. Martha A. Matthews is a judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court in California. She was appointed to the bench in 2017 by former governor Jerry Brown.

She is a registered Democrat.

Judge Matthews received her B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1984. She went on to earn her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1987.

Matthews served a yearlong clerkship for the Hon. Thelton E. Henderson with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 1987. She also clerked for the Hon. Stephen Breyer with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit from 1988 to 1989, and for the Hon. Harry A. Blackmun with the U.S. Supreme Court from 1989 to 1990.

Matthews, who would devote the majority of her legal career to the advocacy of children and domestic violence victims, joined Legal Services for Children as an attorney for one year in 1990. She also served as an attorney for the National Center for Youth Law for a six-year period beginning in 1991, and for the American Civil Liberties Union from 2000 to 2004. Then, in 2005, Matthews served as a writ attorney and supervising attorney for the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles, where she practiced for another six years. In 2011, she became a directing attorney for the Children's Project at Public Counsel. She would hold that position until her appointment to the Superior Court in 2017.

Matthews has taught as a visiting professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and as the director of the Family Advocacy Program at Stanford Law School. She would also serve as a clinical professor and directing attorney for the University of Southern California Law School's Domestic Violence Clinic, where she supervised law students in providing legal assistance to domestic violence victims. While at USC, Matthews helped spearhead training programs geared towards helping child protective services workers and other legal professionals in family and dependency court.

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