Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein is a U. S. District Judge for the Western District of Washington and was appointed Director of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C., by the Board of the Center, chaired by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. She was chief judge of the Western District of Washington from 1987-1994. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University and attended Harvard Law School.
Before her appointment to the federal bench in 1980, she served as a King County Superior Court judge for the State of Washington. Before that she practiced law with a private firm in Boston, Massachusetts, and with the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division of the State of Washington’s Attorney General’s office. Judge Rothstein taught trial practice at the University of Washington Law School.
Judge Rothstein is a member of the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School. She has trained women judges and lawyers from Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and has trained judges in other countries to help improve the rule of law and the role of the judiciary. She has presided over many complex and controversial criminal and civil cases. She has served on a variety of committees including the Federal-State Relations Committee of the United States Judicial Conference and the Ninth Circuit Standing Committee on Gender, Race, Religious and Ethnic Fairness.
She is a frequent lecturer and is a member of the American Law Institute. She is currently on the Board of the Institute of Judicial Administration at New York University Law School the American Law Institute-American Bar Association. She also serves as member of the National Academy of Science's Committee on Science, Technology and Law. She is a Commissioner on the American Judicature Society’s Commission on Forensic Science and Public Policy as well as a member of the Physicians and Lawyers for National Drug Policy Justice Education Advisory Committee. She has also served on the Board of EINSHAC, an educational affiliate of the Human Genome Project dedicated to instructing judges on scientific issues connected with the role of genetics in litigation. She serves on the National Historical Publications and Record Commission; the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Judicial Advisory Board; member of The Sedona Conference® Judicial Advisory Board and on the Board of the Rule of Law Initiative of the American Bar Association.