January 14, 2021

JUDITH MEIERHENRY | Legacy in Law

Justice Meierhenry Discusses Life and Career on Credit Hour

VERMILLION, S.D. – Former South Dakota Supreme Court Justice Judith Meierhenry, '66 B.A., ’68 M.A., ’77 J.D., discussed her life and career on the podcast Credit Hour.

“This year’s been hard. You don’t know things for sure. I think you have to live your life as well as you can wherever you are,” said Meierhenry. “Family first. If there’s anything I know for sure. It’s that.”


Meierhenry was appointed the secretary of South Dakota’s Department of Labor by Gov. Bill Janklow in 1980 and served as the state’s Secretary of Education and Cultural Affairs in 1983. She was appointed a South Dakota Supreme Court Justice in 2002, becoming the first woman in South Dakota’s history to be appointed to the state Supreme Court, where she served until her retirement in 2011.


“It was a good experience,” said Meierhenry of attending law school at USD. “There wasn’t another time before or since where you feel like you are learning so much. And there is a joy in that.”


“Once I got on the bench, I loved that every day. It really was a dream job for me,” said Meierhenry. “I don’t remember a day that I wasn’t looking forward to going to work.”


Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and www.usd.edu/podcast.



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