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Beck Briscoe, Mary

Beck Briscoe, JD
Year Inducted: 
Mary Beck Briscoe
  • Well-respected Kansan Judge
  • Appointed to the Kansas Court of Appeals
  • Selected by colleagues to the prestigious and important Tenth Circuit bench

Shelley Hickman Clark, the Associate Dean of the KU School of Law at KU, said of Mary Briscoe, “[she] has exemplified the standards of excellence and integrity sought to be achieved by all good lawyers and students of law...Her commitment and service to the people of Kansas is marked by the highest degree of professionalism.”  Her service to the state of Kansas has, indeed, been considerable as Martin Dickinson, former Dean of the School of Law, points out.  “After a[n] impressive career in private practice, she was appointed to the Kansas Court of Appeals at a young age - a remarkable tribute in itself.  Her service on the Court of Appeals was regarded so highly that she was selected from among all her colleagues on the Kansas Court of Appeals and Kansas Supreme Court to move to the prestigious and important Tenth Circuit bench.  There could be no higher tribute to her work as a judge.”

Besides her personal achievements in law, she has also led the way for women in her field.  Dickenson comments, “She graduated at a time when there was only grudging acceptance of women in the major law firm[s] and courts.  She was a true pioneer, and her professional achievements have opened doors for lots of others.”  Judge Jerry Elliott points out that our inductee, “...has long been a wonderful role model for everyone—women and men, rural background and urban, private practitioner and public servant, student and professor.  A lover of cats, she also tolerates dogs.”  Judge Elliot also praised her leadership style.  “[She was] a quiet, forceful leader.  Not reluctant to speak her mind, she preferred to lead by example.  No one worked harder...In short, [she] is what most of us wish we were.  Most of us struggle; to her it comes naturally.”  As Gloria Farha Flentje points out, “Judge [Mary Beck] Briscoe is an outstanding example for young women who seek careers in the practice of law."  

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