Present Position: Appointed to the California Supreme Court by Governor George Deukmejian April 1989. Elected November 1990 and reelected to full term November 1994 and November 2006. (Chair of California Judicial Council's Appellate Advisory Committee 1996 to 2005 [oversaw six-year project revising the voluminous rules of court pertaining to the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal, mainly to simplify the wording and clarify the meaning of the rules].)
Previous Positions: Associate Justice on the state Court of Appeal in Los Angeles (Division Five); judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court; Associate Justice pro tempore on state Court of Appeal in Los Angeles (Division Three); judge on Los Angeles County Municipal Court; senior attorney on state Court of Appeal in Los Angeles; Deputy Attorney General in Los Angeles.
Higher Education: In 1974, graduated from the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law and at the same time received a Master of Public Administration degree from U.S.C.'s School of Public Administration. In 1971, received a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude degree in German from U.S.C., and in 1970 an Associate in Arts degree.
Academic Honors: University of Southern California - Gould School of Law (9/71 to 6/74), recipient of American Jurisprudence Award in Torts; University of Southern California - School of Public Admin. (9/73 to 6/74), recipient of the "Pfiffner Award for the Outstanding Thesis of the Academic Year"; 4.0 grade point average; University of Southern California (2/70 to 8/71), recipient of academic scholarships, member of Phi Beta Kappa, member of Phi Kappa Phi (honor society for academic excellence), completed two academic years in a year and a half while working 20-hour week; Pasadena City College (9/68 to 2/70), "Honors Extraordinary" in German, recipient of Clara Bates Giddings Scholarship for excellence in German, member of Alpha Mu Gamma (national honor society for foreign languages), recipient of Alpha Mu Gamma scholarship, member of the state scholarship society of Alpha Gamma Sigma, Dean's list each semester (completed 2 years of college in 1-1/2 years while working 20-hour week).
Special Recognitions: The Counselors, conversations with 18 courageous women who have changed the world, by Elizabeth Vrato, published in March 2002, chapter XII; law review article entitled Joyce L. Kennard: An Independent Streak on California's Highest Court (65 Albany Law Rev., p. 1181, July 2002). Selected as one of 20 “Women Leaders in the Law” (The Recorder, a legal newspaper in the Bay Area), September 12, 2011.
Awards/Honors: Trailblazers of the Bar Award from the Senior Lawyers Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, January 2013. Judicial Achievement Award from the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA), March 23, 2012. Immigrant Heritage Award from the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, October 2011; accompanying Certificate of Honor from San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee; accompanying Certificate of Recognition from Senator Mark Leno, 3rd District; accompanying Certificate of Honor from San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting; accompanying Certificate of Resolution from Betty T. Yee, Member of the California State Board of Equalization, First District. Distinguished Alumni Award from University of Southern California Asian Pacific Alumni Association (APAA), April 2010; accompanying Certificate of Commendation from President Pro Tempore Jan Perry of the City of Los Angeles. Emil Gumpert ADR Judicial Services Award from the Dispute Resolution Services, Inc., April 2008; accompanying proclamation from Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles. Lifetime Achievement Award from the Queen’s Bench, November 2007. Alumni Merit Award from University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning, and Development, October 2006; accompanying Certificate of Commendation from Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke of Los Angeles County. Lifetime Achievement Award from the Japanese American Bar Association of Greater Los Angeles, May 2006. Award from the San Mateo County Chapter of Organization of Chinese Americans, October 1, 2005; accompanying Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Tom Lantos; accompanying Certificate of Recognition from Speaker pro Tempore Leland Y. Yee of the California State Assembly; accompanying Certificate of Commendation from the Board of Supervisors of San Mateo County. Judicial Council’s award presented by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Chair of the Judicial Council, San Francisco, October 2004. Public Service Award from the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Los Angeles, December 2001. First Justice Rose Bird Memorial Award from the California Women Lawyers, San Francisco, March 2001. Legal Impact Award 2000 from the Asian Law Alliance in San Jose, California, March 2000. Award from the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, Los Angeles, October 1997. Award from the Council of Asian Pacific Islanders Together for Active Leadership (C.A.P.I.T.A.L.), Sacramento, March 1997; accompanying award from the Asian Bar Association of Sacramento. Award from the Marin Women's Hall of Fame, and accompanying proclamations from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer; Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey; Marin County Supervisors John B. Kress, Harold C. Brown, Jr., Steve Kinsey, Annette Rose, and Harry J. Moore; Assemblywoman Kerry Mazzoni; and State Senator John Burton, March 1997. Award from the San Francisco Women Lawyers Alliance, February 1997. The "1996 Spirit of Excellence Award" from the American Bar Association's Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession, and accompanying proclamation by the Governor of the State of Maryland, February 1996. The St. Thomas More Medallion Award from the St. Thomas More Law Honor Society and Loyola Law School, November 1995. The Trailblazer Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), November 1994. National Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (NAPALSA) Founders Award, October 1994. The 1994 Access Award from the L.A. County Commission on Disabilities, October 1994. American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, August 1993. First Annual Netherlands-American Heritage Award from the Netherlands-American Arts and Cultural Foundation, November 1992. The 1992 "Chinese-American Pioneers from Southern California in the Judiciary" Award from the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, November 1992. First Annual "Women of the 90's" Award from Robinson's Department Store, Los Angeles, October 1992. Award from the ABA Task Force on Opportunities for Minorities in the Judicial Administration Division and Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession, August 1992. Attorney General Award from the Asian and Pacific Islander Employee Advisory Committee of the Attorney General's Office, May 1992. "Justice of the Year 1991" Award from the California Trial Lawyers Association, November 1991. Distinguished Alumni Award from the Community College League of California, November 1991. Award from the YWCA, Los Angeles, and accompanying proclamation from Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles, May 1991. Award from the Asian/Pacific Women's Network, Los Angeles, March 1991. Award from the Governor's Hall of Fame for People With Disabilities, November 1990. Independent Living Center of Southern California Lifetime Achievement Award, October l990. Award from the San Fernando Valley Bar, October 1990. Ernestine Stahlhut Award from the Women Lawyers' Association of Los Angeles, October l990. Sacramento Women Amputees Group's Award for Contributing to the Progress of Dignity and Self-Esteem Among Amputees, March 1990. University of Southern California Alumni Merit Award, March 1990.
Honorary Doctor of Laws Degrees: University of Southern California, May 2007; San Joaquin College of Law, May 2004; Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, May 1997; Lincoln Law School, May 1997; Whittier Law School, May 1994; Southwestern University School of Law, May 1991; California Western School of Law, December 1990; Pepperdine School of Law, May l989.