Justice Debra L. Stephens has been a member of the Washington State Supreme Court since January 1, 2008. She previously served as a judge on Division Three of the Court of Appeals. Before taking the bench, her legal work focused on appellate practice, with over 125 appearances in the Washington Supreme Court, in addition to appearances in the Washington Court of Appeals, Idaho Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and as counsel of record in the United States Supreme Court.
Justice Stephens was the coordinator of the Amicus Curiae Program of the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Foundation, the longest standing institutional “friend of the court” program in the state. She also taught as an adjunct professor at Gonzaga University School of Law, in areas including federal and state constitutional law, community property, appellate advocacy, and legal research and writing.
A Spokane native, Justice Stephens earned both her undergraduate and law degrees from Gonzaga University. Justice Stephens currently serves on the Supreme Court Administrative, Court Education, Budget, Personnel, and Electronic Content Management Committees. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Courts and Science Institute (NCSI), and Chairs NCSI’s Center for Graduate and Professional Judicial Science Education. A proud member of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission, Justice Stephens regularly volunteers at youth and justice events across the state. She also serves on the YMCA Youth and Government Advisory Board, and is a member of the Olympia Rotary Club.
Justice Stephens is married and has two children. She enjoys skiing, golfing, tennis, and spending time with family.