Chief Judge Kathryn H. Vratil is the twenty third judge and the first woman named to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. Judge Vratil served as law clerk to Judge Earl O'Connor from 1975 to 1978 and it was his seat to which she was appointed when he took senior status in 1992. Judge Vratil holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Kansas School of Law, where she was a member of the Kansas Law Review Board of Editors and the Order of the Coif, a scholastic honor society. Her legal experience includes 14 years of private practice and a partnership with Lathrop & Norquist where she specialized in commercial and business litigation. She also served as Municipal Judge for the City of Prairie Village, Kansas. She is a member of the American Bar Association Federal, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and former president of the Earl E. O'Connor Inn of Court. Chief Judge Vratil became the district's Chief Judge in January 2008.