- Appointed by the California Council of Churches
- Current Term Extends through June 30, 2020
Victoria Kolakowski is a judge for the Alameda County Superior Court of California. She was elected to the bench in 2010.
As a law student, Judge Kolakowski had clerkships with three law firms in Louisiana and went on to open a solo practice, where she specialized in the representation of members of the LGBTQ community. A year later, she became a patent associate at McCubbrey, Bartels, Meyers, and Ward, where she practiced for several years, leaving in 1993. While there, Judge Kolakowski practiced patent litigation with specificity in the electrical and mechanical arts. She has a deep and wide educational background, which she brought to her work in patent litigation, along with extensive experience in that field, having worked briefly as a patent attorney at Ampex Data Systems Corporation and then at Telgen Corporation, where she served as general counsel and the Chief Administrative Officer from 2000 to 2002. Two more stints in solo practice would round out her time in the private sector.
Judge Kolakowski then worked as a utilities engineer and regulatory analyst with the California Public Utilities Commission, and also served as assistant chief counsel for the California Electricity Oversight Board, moving on to become an Administrative Law Judge for the state in 2006. In that role, she presided over quasi-judicial hearings for both the California Department of Insurance and the California Public Utilities Commission. She would remain in that role until winning the election to the Superior Court in 2010.
Judge Kolakowski co-authored a public domestic partnership ordinance for the city of Berkeley and was invited by the U.S. State Department to travel through India to address issues pertaining to LGBTQ law and policy.
Judge Kolakowski has served on the board of directors at the Transgender Law Center and has been a member of the Judicial Council of California’s Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness. She was also President of the International Association of LGBT Judges.
Judge Kolakowski graduated from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Herbert Law Center, but, as mentioned above, her educational background is indeed deep and wide. She began her studies at New College of Florida, where she received a B.A. in natural sciences. She then attended Tulane University, where she obtained an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering, and she graduated from Louisiana State University with an M.P.A. in Public Administration along with her law degree. The following year she received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Orleans. She culminated her academic achievements with an M.Div. in Biblical Studies from the Pacific School of Religion.