Elizabeth Riggs

2008

Trailblazer

Elizabeth A. Riggs was appointed as a judge by the Municipal Court Governor in 1979, where she remained the first and only African American woman judge until 2001. Life experiences prepared her for public service: after college, Riggs worked at the YWCA, the Neighborhood Youth Corp and directed Head Start before community leaders urged her to go to law school. In 1997, she was elected Assistant Presiding Judge in El Cajon where she established the Domestic Violence Court. In 2000, Riggs realized her lifelong passion when she was transferred to the Juvenile Court for Dependency and Delinquency. Elizabeth Riggs received numerous awards, is a member of many legal organizations, and was founding chair of the Earl B Gillman Bar Association. In 2007, Riggs was recognized as the 39th Senate District�s Woman of the Year by Senator Christine Kehoe.