Judicial Profile: Sixth District Court of Appeals Judge Arlene Singer
In her chambers at the Sixth District Court of Appeals building in Toledo, Judge Arlene Singer proudly displays her love of science fiction and baseball.
“When I was a little kid we always watched Detroit TV, so there’s a little pocket of Detroit Tigers’ fans up in Lucas County,” she commented while a life-size cardboard cutout of Tigers’ first baseman Miguel Cabrera stands in a corner near her collection of bobble heads and other baseball souvenirs.
On the appeals court bench for more than a decade, Judge Singer said she still learns something every day.
“There’s a never ending variety of cases, areas of the law, the particular circumstances of the individual case and it’s like a new book every time I get to open a brief.”
Judge Singer serves with four other judges in an appeals district that covers eight northwest Ohio counties.
She has a unique perspective of the law because of service in both the judicial branch, in the Toledo Municipal Court as well as the appeals court, and legislative branch with a term in the Ohio House of Representatives during the 117th Ohio General Assembly.
“Being a part of that whole process, whether in the legislative branch or in the judicial branch, was almost humbling,” according to Judge Singer.
Judge Singer earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Toledo, where she’s taken an active role in the Toledo Women Lawyers History Project. A collaboration between the college of law and the Toledo Women’s Bar Association, the project was dedicated in 2011.
Singer talks with passion about the importance of the project and the portraits of pioneering women in the legal profession from Northwest Ohio that hang in the college’s law library: “To inspire law students and to preserve the history and recognize that these people existed – we existed – and maybe we can be an inspiration. If we don’t put this some place, don’t record this some place, it will be lost.”
Future phases of the project are to include endowment scholarships and interactive displays.
Also important to Judge Singer is counseling young lawyers as a mentor for several programs, including the Ohio Supreme Court's Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring program, where she helps them prepare for a Toledo-area legal practice.
“We pride ourselves on civility and collegiality, and I try, when I have a new lawyer or law student, to emphasize that. It’s better for the profession, it’s better personally for the individual to be able to practice that way and in that kind of community,” she said.
Judge Singer added she has enormous respect for the dedicated lawyers who care for their clients and judges who help society.