Kim McLane Wardlaw serves on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She was nominated by President William Jefferson Clinton on January 27, 1998. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 31, 1998, and appointed to the Court on August 3, 1998. Judge Wardlaw had previously served on the United States District Court for the Central District of California since January 3, 1996. Before joining the district court, she was a litigation partner of the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers, and was based in Los Angeles.There she enjoyed a general business litigation practice, with special emphases in intellectual property and media defense law. While in private practice, Judge Wardlaw served in various offices of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, the Women Lawyers Public Action Grant Foundation and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, from which she resigned as an officer upon assuming the bench. Also while in private practice, Judge Wardlaw was involved in numerous community, political and governmental activities, taking leaves of absence from her practice to join the Clinton-Gore Presidential Transition Team, where she worked in the United States Justice Department, and serving as Mayor-elect Richard J. Riordan’s Government Liaison during his mayoral transition.
Judge Wardlaw graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with an A.B. in Communication Studies in 1976. She obtained her J.D. in 1979 from UCLA Law School, where she was awarded Order of the Coif and named Outstanding Graduate of the Class of 1979. She was a legal extern during law school for the late Honorable Joseph T. Sneed, III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and upon graduation, clerked for Honorable William P. Gray of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.