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Judge Julie A. Robinson papers

Call Number: RH MS 1557


This collection consists of case-related records and administrative documentation from Judge Julie A. Robinson's career as a United States District Court judge based in Kansas.


  • Creation: 1992 - 2014


Conditions Governing Access

Criminal case files received in 2014 are closed from access until 2053. Civil case files and administrative files received in 2014 are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Julie A. Robinson (1957 - )

Julie A. Robinson, a fourth generation Kansan, graduated from the University of Kansas in 1978 with a bachelors in journalism before attending KU's School of Law and earning her juris doctorate degree in 1981.

From 1981-1983 Robinson served as a law clerk for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Benjamin E. Franklin. For 10 years thereafter she was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, handling both civil and criminal cases. In 1994 she was appointed a U.S. Bankruptcy judge for the District of Kansas, after the death of Judge Franklin.

Robinson held the bankruptcy judge position until 2001, when U.S. President George W. Bush appointed her to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. This made Robinson the first African American woman to serve on this court.

Robinson has held a variety of roles within the federal judiciary, including serving as chair of the Court Administration and Case Management Committee (CACM), chair of the District Court Judges Benchbook Committee, a commissioner for the U.S. Supreme Court Fellows program, and committee member for the Workplace Conduct and the Strategic Planning Committees. She has also been elected to the American Law Institution and served on the Board of Trustees of the American Inns of Court Foundation.

Robinson has held a variety of service roles in Kansas City and for the University of Kansas. These have included chairing the Board of Healing House of Kansas City, teaching trial practice courses at the KU Law School, and serving on the Law School's Board of Governors and with the School's Admissions subcommittee.

Robinson has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Kansas School of Law, the Distinguished Public Service Award from Baker Unviersity, and has been elected to KU's Women's Hall of Fame. She has also been awarded Distinguished Service and Courageous Judge awards from the Kansas Bar Association and the Wiley Branton Award from the National Bar Association, an award given as part of the Wiley Branton Symposium for members of the legal community who have led the way in civil, social, and economic justice.

[Information retrieved from U.S. District Court District of Kansas and University of Kanas Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity websites.]


12.5 Linear Feet (13 boxes + 7 audiovisual items)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The bulk of this collection consists of Judge Robinson's files on various cases, both criminal and civil, over which she presided. These files may include Robinson's handwritten notes, reference materials, annotated drafts and copies of court documents, bench memoranda, correspondence, photographs, news clippings, and other materials. Correspondence may be between judges and other court staff, legal counsel, plaintiffs or defendants, and supporters of plaintiffs or defendants. Several cases involve questions of racial profiling, police violence, immigration, and other concerns affecting marginalized communities.

Other materials in the collection include administrative documentation gathered by Judge Robinson regarding the district court system, including materials related to her service on the Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, as well as general reference materials.

The collection has been arranged into four series: civil case files, criminal case files, administrative files, and audiovisual materials. Criminal case files have access restrictions due to the sensitive nature of the documentation about third parties involved in these cases, but civil case files and administrative records are open for research. The audiovisual materials have been physically separated from the rest of the collection and mostly concern media coverage of the Wittig case, as well as recordings of Judge Robinson's installations as bankruptcy and later U.S. District of Kansas judge.

Spencer staff reorganized case files according to case number when processing the collection. If there were multiple files involving the same case, these cases were rearranged to be physically together. Spencer staff used folder titles provided by Judge Robinson and her staff, so some information, such as case numbers, may not always be included if that information was not provided at time of donation. If no folder titles were provided, Spencer staff created titles based on folder contents and put them in [brackets]. Several files throughout the collection are labeled with Judge Robinson's initials, JAR.

Physical Location

RH MS 1557

Physical Location

KC AV 132

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Julie Robinson, 2014.

Separated Materials

Official case files created by the Kansas District Court are available through the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Visit for more information to access those case files.

Guide to the Julie A. Robinson Collection
Judge Julie A. Robinson papers
Finding aid prepared by cd, mwh, 2022. Finding aid encoded by mmj, 2023. Finding aid revised by mwh, mmj, arh, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Judge Julie A. Robinson papers, RH MS 1557, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States