Presiding Justice Bigelow was Chair of the New Judge Education Committee for the California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) from 2006 to 2008, where she acted as Dean to the annual Judicial College and oversaw the education of all newly-appointed judges in California. She was also Chair of the CJER Criminal Law Education Committee (2000 to 2002) and the Los Angeles Superior Court Civil Law Education Committee (2006 to 2008). She has written educational materials and spoken at educational programs for judges and lawyers concerning felony sentencing, civil and criminal evidence, sex crimes, judicial ethics and fairness, jury instructions and criminal trials.
Before her appointment to the bench, she was a deputy attorney general for the State of California from 1986 to 1995, assigned to the Criminal Law Division. While there, Presiding Justice Bigelow handled hundreds of felony appeals, and presented oral argument before both the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She was a Supervising Deputy Attorney General and the Trial Coordinator in Los Angeles office, where she oversaw all criminal trials and investigations. She was assigned to the Special Prosecutions Unit, where she handled organized crime and major fraud trials. She was cross-designated as both a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and an Assistant United States Attorney.
She was the founding co-president of the Los Angeles Criminal Law Inns of court (2002-2005) and a member of "CALJIC," the Los Angeles Superior Court Criminal Jury Instructions Committee (1998 to 2005).
Presiding Justice Bigelow received a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton, and a J.D. from Pepperdine University.