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Marla Luckert

Chief Justice Marla Luckert

appointed 2002

Chief Justice

2024 State of the Judiciary address | video file

Video: Chief Justice Luckert's investiture (12-17-19)

Chief Justice Marla Luckert is a fourth generation native of Sherman County, Kansas. After growing up on the western Kansas border and graduating from Goodland High School, Chief Justice Luckert moved to Topeka for college and law school and has spent her professional career in the Capitol City. Chief Justice Luckert has served the public as a judge and justice for nearly 30 years, handling thousands of cases. 


Current term

January 2023–January 2029

Appointed to court November 2002


Judicial experience

2019–present, chief justice, Kansas Supreme Court

2003–19, justice, Kansas Supreme Court

  • Second woman to be appointed to the Kansas Supreme Court

  • Chair, Kansas Judicial Council

  • Former member, Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council

  • Former ex-officio member, Kansas Children's Cabinet

2000–03, chief judge, 3rd Judicial District

  • First woman to be appointed chief judge of a Kansas judicial district 

1992–2000, district judge, 3rd Judicial District


Previous professional experience

1980–92, general practice of law, partner, Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds & Palmer, Topeka, Kansas

  • Selected for The Best Lawyers in America

Adjunct professor of law, Washburn University, 1985 and 1991-93



Institute of Judicial Administration at New York University School of Law, Appellate Judges Program

National Judicial College, General Jurisdiction Program, 1992 

Washburn University School of Law, J.D., 1980, cum laude; editor, Washburn Law Review

Washburn University, B.A., history, 1977, magna cum laude; student body president


Professional memberships and activities

Kansas Bar Association, past president

Kansas District Judges Association, past president

Kansas Women Attorneys Association, past president

Topeka Bar Association, past president

Sam A. Crow Inn of Court, past president

Women Attorneys Association of Topeka, past president

National Women Judges Association

American Inn of Court

Johnson County Bar Association 

Wichita Bar Association

Wichita Women Attorneys Association

Kansas Bar Foundation, fellow

American Bar Association

American Bar Foundation, life fellow

Civil Justice Committee, co-chair, Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators

Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction, Judicial Conference of the United States

Awards and honors

Honorary Doctorate of Law, Washburn University

Phil Lewis Medal of Distinction from the Kansas Bar Association

Outstanding Women of Kansas Award, 19th Amendment Centennial Celebration Committee

Distinguished Service Award, Alumni Fellow, Washburn University

Distinguished Service Award, Washburn University School of Law

Christel Marquardt Trailblazer Award, Distinguished Service Award, Robert Weary Award, Kansas Bar Foundation

Distinguished Service Award, Topeka Bar Association

Achievement Award, Kansas Women Attorneys Association

Achievement Award, Topeka Women Attorneys Association

Honorable E. Newton Vickers Professionalism Award

Woman of Excellence, Topeka YWCA

Woman of Influence, Go Topeka's Entrepreneurial and Minority Business Development Program

Parent Volunteer of the Year, children's elementary school 

Community, civic, and charitable activities

Past-president, Mobile Meals (now Meals on Wheels)

Past-president, Mobile Meals Foundation

Past-president, Sheltered Living Inc.

Past-president, Sheltered Living Foundation

Former board Member, Kaw Valley Girl Scout Council

Former board Member, Topeka Rotary Foundation

Former board Member, Washburn School of Law Alumni Association

Former board Member, Shawnee County Community Corrections Advisory Board 

Former board Member, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Advisory Board

Volunteer services to many other charities and community groups, including Meals on Wheels, YWCA, Stormont Vail Ethics Committee, American Cancer Society, the Arthritis Foundation, Girl Scout troops, Let's Help, and Doorstep

Past president, children's elementary school parent teacher organization 

Former member of site councils of children's elementary, middle, and high schools


Additional information

Justice Luckert and her husband of 40 years have three children and three grandchildren.

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