Judge Marshall was appointed to the United States District Court for the Central District of California by President Jimmy Carter. She became the seventh woman of color to serve as an Article III judge in the country. In 2001, Judge Marshall became the first woman to serve as Chief Judge of the Central District of California (and the first woman of color to serve as Chief Judge in any federal district west of the Mississippi).
Judge Marshall earned her undergraduate degree and J.D. from Howard University. She began her legal career as a Deputy City Attorney, being the first woman hired as a lawyer by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office. She later entered private practice with Johnnie Cochran and Nelson Atkins. She left private practice for the bench, serving as a Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner, Inglewood Municipal Court Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, and United States District Judge.
Judge Marshall has long been active in the legal community–locally, nationally, and internationally, chairing and participating in committees and boards for the Ninth Circuit, the Federal Bar Association and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and the International Association of Women Judges. She is Chair of the Ninth Circuit Pacific Island Committee. Judge Marshall has also been active in the local non-legal community, serving on the Board of Directors for the Weingart Center, a nonprofit facility for the homeless, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and currently serves on the RAND Institute for Civil Justice Board of Overseers.