Chief Judge Maxine Aldridge White was appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in March 2015 to serve as chief judge of the state’s First Judicial District, which is comprised of Milwaukee County, effective August 1, 2015.
As the chief judge, Judge White is the administrative chief of the judicial administrative district and is responsible for the administration of judicial business in circuit courts within the district, including supervising its personnel and fiscal management. She will join nine other Wisconsin circuit court judges on the Committee of Chief Judges, which consists of one chief judge from each of the state’s ten judicial administrative districts and meet monthly as a committee to work with the Supreme Court on issues of statewide importance.
Judge White was first appointed to the bench in 1992 and has been elected four times since, most recently in 2011. Since September 2008 she has served as deputy chief judge of the First Judicial District. Judge White has served seven years as the Presiding Judge of Milwaukee County Circuit Court’s Family Division . During her 23 year tenure on the bench she has also presided over cases in the large claims Civil Division and the specialty courts in Milwaukee, including the Homicide Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Drug prosecution Courts.
Before becoming a judge, Judge White was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin where she prosecuted criminal and bankruptcy cases and defended federal agencies and interests in civil cases. In that capacity she represented the federal government before the federal trial and bankruptcy courts in Milwaukee and before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Before becoming a judge, she served as legal advisor and instructor for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia, as a manager in the local and regional offices of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and as an executive with the SSA Office of the Commissioner in Washington, D.C.
Some of Judge White's past and present personal and professional leadership roles include; Director of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference and member of its executive committee; Co-chair Wisconsin Committee on Judicial Selection; Chair Governor’s Task Force on Racial Profiling; Co-chair Wisconsin Supreme Court Special Committee on Gender Neutrality; Judicial representative Wisconsin Judicial Council; Vice-chair of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference Legislative Committee; Member American Bar Association - Judicial Division; Member Wisconsin Bar Association; Board of Directors, Milwaukee Bar Association; President and Board of Directors Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers; Member, Association for Women Lawyers; Judicial Representative -Milwaukee Visitation Center (Center for families experiencing domestic violence); Member Marquette Law School Diversity Committee; District Director, National Association of Women Judges; and.President Advisory Board, House of Peace, Incorporated.
Judge White obtained a bachelor's degree from Alcorn State University in Mississippi, a masters degree in public administration from the University of Southern California and her J.D. from Marquette University Law School where she was named a Boden Scholar, served on the Marquette Law Review and won an American Jurisprudence Award in constitutional law. During her career and service in Milwaukee she has received numerous awards from civic, professional and social groups; universities; and local, state and federal agencies, including: Wisconsin Bar Association Judge of the Year Award, All University Award for Community Service, Marquette University; Wisconsin Law Journal Leader in the Law Award and Professional Dimensions, Incorporated Sacagawea Award.