My Life on the Bench…What Works, What’s Broken, and How to Change It

LaDoris Hazzard Cordell

11 a.m., July 10, 2022

Judge Cordell will discuss her newly released book: “Her Honor”, where she provides a rare and thought-provoking insider account of our legal system, sharing vivid stories of the cases that came through her courtroom and revealing the strengths, flaws, and much-needed changes within our courts.
You might want to review the link to her book at . Here you can see more info about her book, and purchase it.

Speaker Biography
LaDoris Hazzard Cordell, a 1974 graduate of Stanford Law School, was the first lawyer to open a law practice in East Palo Alto, a low-income community of color.
In 1978, she was appointed Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at Stanford Law School, where she implemented a successful minority admissions program.
In 1982, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Ms. Cordell to the Municipal Court of Santa Clara County.
In 1988, Judge Cordell won election to the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, making her the first African American woman to sit on the Superior Court in northern California.
In 2001, she retired from the bench to become Vice Provost & Special Counselor to the President for Campus Relations at Stanford University. She left that position in 2009.
In 2003, accepting no monetary donations, Judge Cordell, ran a grassroots campaign and won a 4-year term on the Palo Alto City Council.
Judge Cordell was the Independent Police Auditor for the City of San Jose for five years (2010-2015. Under her leadership, the office gained national prominence.
In 2016, Judge Cordell chaired a Blue-Ribbon Commission in Santa Clara County that investigated the jails in the aftermath of the murder of an inmate by jail guards; she also served on a Blue Ribbon Panel that evaluated the culture of the San Francisco Police Department after racist and sexist text messages surfaced.
In 2018, Judge Cordell was the voice of the opposition and campaigned vigorously against the recall of Judge Aaron Persky.
Judge Cordell has been an on-camera legal analyst for CBS-5 television and a guest commentator on Court TV, MSNBC’s “The Weekend with Joshua Johnson,” and “The Mehdi Hasan Show” on NBC’s Peacock Network.
She is a mother and lives in Palo Alto with her partner of 30+ years. In her spare time, Judge Cordell is a pianist, vocalist, portrait artist, cartoonist. Her recently released memoir, Her Honor, is published by Celadon, a division of Macmillan Publishing.
You can follow her on Twitter: @judgecordell. Website:

220710 LaDoris Hazzard Cordell.mp4 from Humanist Community-SiliconValley on Vimeo.


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