Chief Judge Ingrid Bakke’s legal philosophy on her approach to the bench is simple: do no harm, and get it right.
“And if I don’t, that’s why we have the Court of Appeals,” she said.
Bakke didn’t anticipate being part of the judiciary when she began her career, though her mother wanted her to become a judge and pushed her in that direction. Her father was an attorney, but he died when she was 2 years old, so she knew very little about him.
“He was a landman, so I always thought he was a geologist. It wasn’t until I passed the bar that my mom told me he actually was an attorney,” she said. But her father never passed the bar exam, and Bakke said her mother didn’t want her to know that until she passed herself.