Kansas Supreme Court justice speaks to Salina League of Women Voters
April 11, 2022
Kansas Supreme Court Justice Melissa Taylor Standridge was in Salina Saturday, speaking to the Salina League of Women Voters during the group’s annual meeting.
The former Kansas Court of Appeals judge has served on the state supreme court since December 2020.
Standridge’s route to the state high court was a bit different than most. A native of Lawrence, she studied business at the University of Kansas. Upon graduation, she went to work for Dillards, first in management, then as a buyer for 42 of the stores.
“I did that for seven years and then I decided I wanted to go to law school,” she said. “I did not know a lawyer. So I’m 30 years old, have never met a lawyer in my life, and it’s just one of those things that I thought I wanted to do.”
Standridge said she met with some resistance from her father who was concerned that she would be giving up a well-paying job for something she may not even like nor be able to find a job in. She said she decided to give law school a year to see whether she liked it.
“I loved law school and did well in law school, and when I graduated from law school, which sometimes happens, generally for people that are at the top of their class, you become, and the common name for it is a ‘law clerk,’ to a judge. Where we are now, we call them ‘research attorneys,’ but it’s a law clerk and you are a lawyer to the judge,” she explained. “So you write proposed opinions, you do research, you kind of the behind-the-scenes person that nobody ever sees, but it’s a highly sought-after position because when you go out and practice, you now know how judges think.”