Iowa Chief Justice Christensen explains her rural roots in new podcast interview

by Rox Laird | October 2, 2020

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen talks about her roots in rural Iowa and her journey from working up from a legal secretary to the pinnacle of Iowa’s court system in an interview on the “In the Balance” podcast now posted on the Judicial Branch website.

In the interview with podcast producer Marissa Gaal, Iowa Judicial Branch public information assistant, Christensen talks about how her first job as a legal secretary in a Sioux City law firm led to a passion for the law and a decision to go to law school while raising a family that now includes five children and five grandchildren (with a sixth grandchild expected by Halloween).

“I loved the law,” she tells Gaal. “I loved everything about it.”

A thread that runs through Christensen’s career as a lawyer that began with a small family practice, then the District Court, and now the Iowa Supreme Court, is what she calls a passion for family law, including working with juveniles and victims of domestic violence.

“When you’re passionate about something, you never work a day in your life,” she said.

Christensen, who continues to work much of the time from her home town in Harlan, said her roots in rural Iowa give her a unique perspective on the Court:

“I’ve always been very committed to my roots, and I respect that other people are committed to their roots as well, no matter where we are in the state.”

The interview with Christensen is the second installment of the monthly podcast,  “In the Balance: An Iowa Judicial Branch Podcast,” that explores how Iowa’s courts function.

New episodes will be posted on the last Tuesday of every month on iTunes, Spotify, and on the Judicial Branch website, www.iowacourts.gov.



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