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Humphreys, Karen Mitchell

Year Inducted: 
The Honorable Karen Humpreys
  • Leader in the creation of KAN-Trac, a program for felony offenders
  • First woman to serve in her position as U.S. Magistrate Judge

A native of Kansas, Karen Mitchell Humphreys was born in Ashland and continued her education for both undergraduate and law at the University of Kansas. As an under-graduate, Humphreys was an honor student. She was inducted into both CWENS and Mortar Board, as well as being chosen as the outstanding woman of her sorority. Humphreys was one of 12 women to be admitted to the School of Law in 1970.

In 1978, Humphreys was appointed to the position of District Judge for the 18th Judicial District in Sedgwick County. She remained in this position until 1993, when she was appointed as U.S. Magistrate Judge. Our very own Emily Taylor was on the selection committee for Humphreys’ appointment. Judge Humphreys was the first woman to serve in this position.

From 2003 to 2013, Judge Humphreys was designated as the Chief Magistrate Judge, leading other Federal Magistrate Judges in the area. In this position, Judge Humphreys led an effort to create a specialty court, known as KAN-Trac. This program, which assists felony offenders re-enter the community, has been extremely successful in thanks to Humphreys’ leadership. Humphreys has been referred to as the “human glue” which holds the program together. KAN-Trac is only one example of Humphreys’ many successes. In recognition of her stellar work, she has received many awards from the Kansas Women Attorneys Association, the Wichita Women’s Association, The Kansas Bar Association, and the Wichita Bar Association.

A nominator says of Humphreys, “Judge Humphreys is viewed by the women attorneys in the state, both those that are K.U graduates and those that are not, as a trail blazer and a great leader for the women in the profession.”

After over 21 years of service to Kansas & over 40 years in the field, Judge Humphreys retired this January. Her impact of her exemplary service and dedication to Kansas will be seen for years to come.

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