OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Judge Tressa Alioth is now serving as a District Court Judge in the Fourth Judicial District (Douglas County). Gov. Pete Ricketts appointed her in April 2021 after the retirement of two former judges.
“It’s been exciting, and I’m overjoyed to be the first African American female appointed to the District Court Bench,” said Alioth.
Alioth was sworn in front of colleagues, family, and friends on Friday.
Alioth says getting appointed has been a dream of hers since she was a teenager.
“In junior high, I visited a penitentiary, one of the local penitentiaries in my sociology class. And we spoke with three different inmates charged with three different things. And even in my mind at that point, it just seemed not correct based on the lives that were affected and so I started looking more into law,” Alioth told 3 News Now.
Alioth, who attended Creighton University for undergraduate and law school, says she knew what she wanted to do and was determined to get there. That included internships and gaining work experience in the field.
“Right after my freshman year of law school, I started clerking in the county attorney’s office. Jim Jansen was the county attorney at that time. I clerked my entire three years of law school and then was hired into the county attorney’s office,” said Alioth.
Throughout her 26 years at the county attorney’s office, she worked in the civil, juvenile, domestic violence, and felony division, often in a leadership role. She also made it a personal goal to make the courtroom experience more welcoming to all, especially those who shouldn’t have been there.
“I would see children of defendants, or family victims that would come through, and I’d always open my doors to say, stop in anytime, follow me, I’ll take you around, introduce you, I’ll talk to you about what we do day in and day out,” added Alioth.
Her distinguished accomplishments and community involvement include being an adjunct professor in the University of Nebraska Omaha’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, a board member of the Nebraska County Attorneys Association, and a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, the National District Attorney’s Association, and the Nebraska State Council Interstate Compact for Adult Supervision.
Although Alioth has done good in her community, her best accomplishment is making her mom - a single mother who encouraged to do anything Alioth set her mind to, proud. She’s now showing others, they too can do anything they set their mind to.
“It’s not because of diversity or because of the things that are going on but because you have individuals that are qualified, you do the work, you’re qualified you can do it,” said Alioth. “I think this just shows that we all care about the community we live in. We all want to serve our community in different ways and if the law is something that is at heart for people as it is for me, I think this just shows that there’s equality in any position.”