A woman who climbed the legal ladder in Wagga with a career spanning more than two decades will soon be appointed as a NSW magistrate.
With Nicole Ford's swearing in ceremony - alongside Melissa Humphreys, Kirralee Tennant, Justin Peach, and Robyn Richardson - almost 50 per cent of Local Court magistrates will now be women.
"It's very exciting for my family and for me and for the wider legal community in Wagga as well," she said.
"My legal career has spanned 25 years."
"The role is an achievement for any lawyer, but even more so to come from a regional and rural background."
Ms Ford began her career in the nineties working for private firms in Wagga, her cases spanning children's court, family law, conveyancing and more.
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Ms Ford soon began running the office and even began to look after the Albury chapter when it opened in 2016.
"I think my experience will hopefully hold me in good stead for what will be a challenging role," she said.
The new magistrates replace retiring judicial officers and typically spend at least a year in the Sydney metropolitan region sitting in the Local Court, Children's Court or Coroner's Court before relocating to regional or country areas.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said it was heartening to see the gender gap in the profession closing.
"The Local Court is the backbone of the legal system. It deals with 96 per cent of all criminal prosecutions and more than 90 per cent of all civil litigation in NSW," he said.
Ms Ford will take her judicial oath on March 15 and is to be allocated to the Children's Court to replace Magistrate Jeffrey Hogg.
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