Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson

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Ojetta Thompson
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Assumed office
March 30, 2010
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Bruce Selya
Personal details
Born (1951-08-08) August 8, 1951 (age 67)
Anderson, South Carolina, U.S.
Alma mater Brown University
Boston University

Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson (born August 8, 1951) is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and a former Rhode Island Superior Court justice.

Early life and education

Thompson was born in segregated Anderson, South Carolina, and grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. She attended Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York under the auspices of the Student Transfer and Exchange Program (STEP), graduating in 1969. She came to Rhode Island to attend Pembroke College, which was the coordinate women's college for Brown University. Thompson earned a bachelor's degree from Brown University in 1973 and a Juris Doctor degree from the Boston University School of Law in 1976.[1]

Professional career

Thompson began her career working as a cashier at the Providence Civic Center in 1973. In 1975 she worked as a law clerk for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. In 1974 Thompson started out as a legal intern for Rhode Island Legal Services and then returned in 1976 as Senior Staff Attorney and Family Law Manager until 1979. From 1979 - 1980 she was an Associate for the law firm of McKinnon and Fortunato. In 1980, Thompson became the Assistant City Solicitor for Providence, Rhode Island and held this position until 1982.[2] Also in 1980, Thompson was a solo practitioner until 1984 when she opened a law firm in South Providence while raising a family with her husband, Rhode Island District Court judge William Clifton.[1] In 1988, Thompson was appointed to the Rhode Island District Court by Governor Edward D. DiPrete.[1] In 1997, she was elevated to the Rhode Island Superior Court by Governor Lincoln Almond.[1]

Federal judicial career

On April 13, 2009, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse announced that they were recommending that President Obama nominate Thompson to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, to fill the seat left vacant by First Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya's transition to senior status at the end of 2006.[3]

On October 6, 2009, Obama formally nominated Thompson to the seat on the First Circuit.[4] She was confirmed by the Senate in a 98-0 vote on March 17, 2010.[5]


Thompson lives in Cranston, Rhode Island.[6]

She has three children, Reza C. Clifton, William Clifton, and Sarah Clifton.


External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Bruce Selya
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit