Tsering Cornell was given a standing ovation on Friday after taking her oath of office to be part of Clark County’s Superior Court bench and becoming the county’s first Asian American judge, Columbian reports.
Cornell was appointed by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee in May to replace Judge Scott Collier, who retired Thursday and had a 20-year tenure.
The ceremony was presided over by Washington Superior Court Judges Jennifer Snider, Camara Banfield and Suzan Clark. They celebrated how Cornell’s investiture made women the majority on the 11-member bench.
“The fact that we’ve gone from one in 10 to six in 11, and we’re the majority now, is just so exciting to me,” Clark said to Columbian. “When you look at the bench, we more closely mirror those people that we serve every day, and we do such a better job because of it.”
In addition to being the county’s first Asian American judge, Cornell was told she is the first Tibetan American judge in the United States.
According to a statement by Inslee, since 2018 Cornell held the role of Assistant Attorney General of the agency’s Vancouver regional office. The role represents the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, as well as Clark College, Lower Columbia College and the Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss/School for the Deaf.
Before Cornell was Assistant Attorney General, she worked for the Attorney General and the Washington Secretary of State in Olympia.
“Tsering is an impressive individual, attorney, and leader, who has spent the bulk of her professional career serving the public,” said Inslee in the statement. “She has a collaborative mindset, and she approaches her work with empathy and compassion. I expect that she will excel on the bench.”
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