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Hilda R.Gage

Hilda R. Gage capped a career of firsts with her appointment as the first female Chief Judge of Michigan’s Oakland County Circuit Court, one of the busiest circuit courts in the nation. Gage earned a bachelor’s degree in constitutional history from the University of Michigan in 1960 and a master’s in elementary education and history two years later, but after discovering how much she loved helping her law-student husband brief cases, she decided to go to law school herself at Wayne State. After earning her law degree, she taught legal research at Wayne State and spent four years in private practice before her 1978 appointment to the Oakland County Circuit Court. She served there for eighteen years before becoming chief judge, then worked in the Michigan Court of Appeals from 1997–2006, when multiple sclerosis forced her to retire. She chaired the Court Delay Reductions Committee, which made recommendations adopted by the American Bar Association in 1985. She was the first woman to chair the American Bar Association’s National Conference of State Trial Judges and the first woman president of the Michigan Judges Association. She also served on the boards of the Michigan Children’s Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


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Jewish Women's Archive. "Hilda R. Gage." (Viewed on May 30, 2020) <>.


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