Image - LaDoris Hazzard Cordell

Past Event

Her Honor: LaDoris Hazzard Cordell

There is only one room that bears witness to marriages, divorces, adoptions, and criminal proceedings—the courtroom. Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell has sat in this room and dedicated nearly five decades of her life to putting justice back into the justice system. As the first African American female judge to serve on the Superior Court in northern California and a trailblazer in many other respects, her years on the bench have put her, in the most literal terms, front and center to the societal microcosm that is the courtroom.

In her debut book Her Honor: My Life on the Bench . . . What Works, What's Broken, and How to Change It, Judge Cordell gives an inside look into a judge's chamber. She shares real stories of the trials and tribulations involved in making life-changing, sometimes life-or-death decisions. Further, she presents hard-earned knowledge on the cracks in the system and how we can repair them with institutional accountability and equitable reconfigurations.

At INFORUM Judge Cordell will detail a career that has been steadfast and powerful in its advancement of LGBTQ+ rights, police accountability, and elevating of BIPOC communities. She will draw on stories both heartwarming and painful to shed light on the good and bad in a system that she says should, must, and will serve all.


This program has 2 types of tickets available: In-person and online-only. Please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

Safety Protocols:

• In-person capacity is limited.
• Masks are required in the building.
• We follow best practices laid out by the CDC and state and local guidelines.
• All guests, staff and volunteers must be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination.
• Elevators are limited to a maximum of four (4) people at a time.

Our LEED Gold-certified building is designed to cool with outside air, using digitally controlled moveable windows and large ceiling fans. We are deploying additional HEPA filters inside to scrub the air. This is all in addition to increased cleaning of surfaces throughout the building.

Copies of Her Honor are available for purchase at checkout (domestic U.S. addresses only).

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Bernard Osher Foundation

Cordell photo by Laurie Naiman.

October 27, 2021

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - LaDoris Cordell

LaDoris Cordell

Judge (Ret); Author, Her Honor: My Life on the Bench...What Works, What's Broken, and How to Change It

Image - Lara Bazelon

In Conversation with Lara Bazelon

Professor of Law and Director of Criminal Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice Clinical Programs, University of San Francisco


5–6 p.m. doors open & check-in
6–7 p.m. program
(all times PDT)