The Honorable Victoria Kolakowski

Alameda County Superior Court, Department 106

Biography

The Hon. Victoria Kolakowski is a judge for the Alameda County Superior Court in California. She was elected to the bench in 2010.

Judge Kolakowski has had an extensive educational background. Her studies began at New College of Florida, where she would graduate with her B.A. in natural sciences in 1982. She then attended Tulane University, where she obtained her M.S. in biomedical engineering in 1987. She received an M.P.A. in public administration as well as her J.D. from Louisiana State University in 1989. The next year, Kolakowski graduated with her M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of New Orleans. Her academic achievements culminated with her M.Div. in Biblical studies from the Pacific School of Religion in 1998.

While at Louisiana State University, Kolakowski worked for a year-and-a-half as a research assistant in the Economics Department and served as a research and teaching assistant in the university's Physics Department. She also clerked briefly at three different Louisiana law firms from 1987 to 1989. After completing her clerkships, Kolakowski entered into solo practice, where she specialized in the representation of gay and lesbian clients. A year later, she became a patent associate at McCubbrey, Bartels, Meyers, and Ward, where she would practice until 1993. While there, Kolakoski practiced patent litigation with specificity in the electrical and mechanical arts. She would also use her experience in patent litigation at Ampex Data Systems Corporation, where she worked briefly as a patent attorney and at Telgen Corporation, where she served as general counsel and the chief administrative officer from 2000 to 2002. Two more stints in solo practice would round out her time in the private sector.

Kolakowski then worked as a utilities engineer and regulatory analyst with the California Public Utilities Commission, and also served as assistant chief counsel for the California Electricity Oversight Board, before ultimately becoming an administrative law judge for the state in 2006. She presided over quasi-judicial hearings for both the California Department of Insurance and the California Public Utilities Commission. She would remain in that role until winning the election to the Superior Court in 2010.

Judge Kolakowski co-authored a public domestic partnership ordinance at Berkeley and was invited by the U.S. State Department to travel through India to address issues pertaining to LGBT law and policy.

A stalwart for the LGBT community, Kolakowski also served on the board of directors at the Transgender Law Center and has been a member of the Judicial Council of California's Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness, and served as past-president of the International Associaton of LGBT Judges.

She married her wife, Cynthia Laird on June 16, 2008, which coincided with the first day of legal same-sex marriages in Oakland, California.

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