Hon. Carol Williams Elswick '83
Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Elswick has no hidden skeletons in her closet. She will be the first to tell you, for example, that she was a destined leader, always marching to her own drumbeat, whether or not she bent the law a bit. Elswick was the line leader of her class. She was also a Brownie. So trustworthy, at the ripe age of 13, her parents allowed her access to the family car which she drove to her favorite entertainment venue, the drive-in theater.
Nowadays, however, it is Elswick’s job to be responsible and law-abiding. As a judge in the Los Angeles , Superior Court system, she presides over civil cases, civil jury trials, small claim matters and unlawful detainer cases. “I do miss aspects of being a lawyer,” said Elswick, a former prosecutor and avid fan of cross-examination and closing argument. “However, I can’t complain. I really enjoy being a judge--maybe because you are center-stage. Now I get to watch as lawyers show me their craft’s--it’s as good as a movie,” Elswick says.
She characterizes herself as having ever “fair and impartial” virtues that are sculpted out of a devotion to being “consistent and cognizant of the facts.” This technique is something she has perfected after years on the bench and she’s proud of her commitment to fair jurisprudence. She laughs, “When people walk out of my courtroom, I want them to say, ‘Ah, this is how the judicial system should work!’”