Women in Government Hosts Lidia Stiglich, Nevada Supreme Court Justice

Women in Government Hosts Lidia Stiglich, Nevada Supreme Court Justice

Lily Bragin

For the 2020-2021 school year, Vanderbilt University’s campus held 7,516 women pursuing degrees across our schools. This amounts to approximately 56% of students. In 2020, 51% of the law school students were women. 

Nevada Supreme Court Justice Lidia Stiglich spoke to just this phenomenon when she zoomed in to an event hosted by Vanderbilt’s Women in Government organization. When asked by moderators Brooke Galloway and Teresa Xu how her career has been impacted by being a woman in a predominantly male dominated field, Justice Stiglich took care to remind the audience that while these statistics are a win in and of themselves, there are still so many scenarios within the legal profession and government in which women are underestimated, discriminated against, or discounted for their gender.

Justice Stiglich, in speaking about her own experiences as a woman in the legal profession, shared that she was often asked to identify herself as a lawyer and show her bar card upon entering court houses where her male colleagues were presumed to belong. Stiglich also shared her experiences in law school with the audience and described herself as a “legal nerd” who genuinely enjoyed her three years earning her juris doctorate. She was a student athlete throughout her years of college and worked a job to help pay for her education, so she truly enjoyed being able to simply focus on law school instead of juggling the many responsibilities she held as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. 

One of Justice Stiglich’s most impressive achievements that she described was her role in the founding of the Youth Offender Drug Court which is a specialty court designed for young adults who are opiate and heroin users, as an alternative sentencing/rehabilitation program. Stiglich identified her inspiration for this court as coming from seeing far too many young people die during the duration of their trials for drug offenses from drug related causes. This sad reality that Stiglich faced inspired her to enact change and the position she worked her way to as a Nevada Supreme Court Justice made it possible. 

Stiglich also spoke to her audience of young legal minds about the biggest issues facing the world of law and government. She identified the distrust in the judicial system as one of the most concerning phenomena that has only been exasperated in the past decade. Justice Stiglich spoke highly of her fellow justices and stated that she could not identify the political parties of her colleagues if she tried. The Nevada Supreme Court does not vote strictly along ideological lines, but rather takes care to evaluate all considerations within their cases. While Justice Sitglich acknowledged the clear partisanship that occurs within other elements of the judiciary in our country, she also spoke to a hope that citizens and judicial officials could work together to build back trust and faith in the system.