Served: Monday, January 11th, 1999 to Monday, January 10th, 2005
Justice Faith Ireland was elected to the Supreme Court by the voters in 1998 after serving fifteen years as a judge of the Superior Court. She retired in 2004, and Justice James Johnson was elected in her place.
After receiving her B.A. from the University of Washington, Justice Ireland graduated one of two women in her class at Willamette University School of Law in Salem, Oregon in 1969. She began her legal career with the firm of McCune, Godfrey and Emerick in the University District of Seattle and in 1974 opened a sole practice in Pioneer Square. She handled family law cases, real estate matters and tried civil and criminal cases all over Washington State. She returned to school while working full time and received her master’s degree in Taxation with honors from Golden Gate University. She was a founding member of Washington Women Lawyer’s and a board member of the Washington State Trial Lawyer’s Association.
Governor John Spellman appointed Justice Ireland to the King County Superior Court in 1983. She won a contested election and was re-elected without opposition to four additional terms. She served six years on the Board of the Superior Court Judges Association and was elected as its President in 1996-1997. She was Vice-Chair of the Board for Judicial Administration from 1996-1998.
Justice Ireland has had an enthusiastic interest in professional development for the judiciary. She served as Dean of the Washington Judicial College, and was a member of the Board for Court Education. Justice Ireland received the Distinguished Service Award from the national Leadership Institute in Judicial Education in 1998. She served as the Education Committee Chair for the Supreme Court and as a member of the Appellate Judges Education Committee.
Justice Ireland served as the President of the Washington Chapter of the American Judicature Society, which is dedicated to improving the administration of justice in America and remains on the Board. She also serves as a member of the Council on Public Legal Education.
For her efforts in helping to diversify the judiciary, Justice Ireland received recognition from the Asian, Hispanic, Loren Miller and N.W. Indian Bar Associations. She was named Judge of the Year by the Washington State Trial Lawyer’s Association and received its William O. Douglas Award. She also received the President’s and Vanguard awards from Washington Women Lawyers, the Women of the Year award from Seattle University Law School and the Leadership Award from Gonzaga University. She was named a Distinguished Alumni of Willamette University in 2000.
Justice Ireland has served on numerous civic and charitable boards. She was named “Chinese Man of the Year” for her efforts in helping to found the Wing Luke Asian Museum. She is President of the Austin Foundation which provides free fitness training for inner city at-risk youth.
She lives with her husband, Chuck Norem, in south Seattle. Her hobbies include downhill skiing and powerlifting. For her age and weight class, she won the USAPL Women’s National Championship in 2002 and 2004, the Washington State Championship for 2001 and 2002 and won a bronze at the Masters World Bench Press in the Czech Republic in 2003.
Born in Seattle in 1942, she was raised in Burien, Washington, where she graduated from Highline High School in 1960.