A woman poses for a photo.
The Hon. Consuelo M. Callahan, ’75, became the first Hispanic woman to be appointed to the San Joaquin Superior Court.

The Hon. Consuelo María Callahan, ‘75, serves as judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for nearly 20 years. She was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by a 99-0 vote by the Senate in 2003. 

Callahan graduated from Stanford University with a degree in English in 1972, received her Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1975, and received her Master of Laws from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004. 

Upon graduating from McGeorge, Callahan worked as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Stockton and then as a Deputy District Attorney for the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office where she focused her practice on child abuse and sexual assault cases. In 1986, she was appointed Commissioner of the Municipal Court for Stockton Municipal Court.  

In 1992 she became the first Hispanic woman to be appointed to the San Joaquin Superior Court, and in 1996 was elevated to associate justice for California Third District Court of Appeal. In 2003 Callahan accepted an appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where she currently serves. 

Callahan gives back to her alma mater, McGeorge School of Law, through service. For instance, Callahan has taught numerous sessions in the Salzburg Graduate Study Abroad Program, a program in which students are given the opportunity to study international legal studies and work in firms abroad. She has also served on the McGeorge Alumni Board Association as secretary, vice president, and president. In addition, Callahan administered the Oath of Professionalism to McGeorge School of Law’s incoming students.  

From 2006 to 2014, and 2022 to present, Callahan served on the University of the Pacific Board of Regents, which oversees Pacific’s education experience by selecting the university president and approving the school’s mission, strategic goals and budgets.  

Callahan is a recognized leader and legal professional in the community. In 2005, she received the Alumna of the Year Award from McGeorge School of Law. In 2006, she received the Judge of the Year award from the Sacramento Bar Association. Later in 2014, Callahan was presented the Ninth Circuit Professionalism Award from the American Inns of Court.

Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is part of a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni.  

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary.