The Access Commission Applauds Justice Kelli Evans’ Confirmation as Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court

Headshot of Kelli Evans

Justice Kelli Evans has had a long and close relationship with the California Access to Justice Commission.  Between 2014 and 2017, she was Senior Director for the Administration of Justice at the California State Bar, and led the staff of the Access Commission.  Since September 2022, she has served as a member of the Commission, a post that she will continue to hold as an Associate Justice. 

During her tenure heading the staff of the Access Commission, some notable accomplishments were:

Justice Evans has played many other roles during her career – all in support of justice for persons who may be underserved or overlooked by our justice system.  They are described in the official biographical summary, from the Judicial Council’s announcement of Justice Evans’ confirmation:

Judge Evans has served as an Alameda County Superior Court judge since 2021. Before that, she served as chief deputy legal affairs secretary in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, where she advised the Governor and executive agencies on a myriad of issues involving administrative proceedings and involving state and federal trial and appellate courts.

Judge Evans served as special assistant to the attorney general at the California Department of Justice from 2017 to 2019 and was senior director for the administration of justice at the California State Bar from 2014 to 2017. She was associate director of the ACLU of Northern California from 2010 to 2013, where she served as an attorney from 1995 to 1998. She was a partner at Independent Assessment & Monitoring LLP from 2006 to 2010 and an associate at Relman and Associates from 2001 to 2004. Judge Evans served as a senior trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1998 to 2001 and as an assistant public defender at the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office in 1995. She has served as a member of federal court-appointed monitoring teams for the Oakland and Cleveland Police Departments.

Instilled with the importance of education by her grandmother, Judge Evans excelled academically and was able to attend a top-rated high school after her family moved from a public housing project to a HUD-subsidized apartment. One of only a small number of students of color at the school, she managed to thrive and graduate among the top of her class while working 20 hours a week to help support her family. Judge Evans went on to attend Stanford University and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law, where she received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for exceptional public service. 

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We are proud of our long association with Justice Evans and grateful for the opportunity to work with her as a member of the Access Commission.

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