Originally from Missouri, Judge Carolyn Barbara Kuhl received her B.A. in chemistry cum laude from Princeton University in 1974 and her J.D. with distinction from Duke University School of law in 1977 where she served as editor of the Duke Law Journal. From 1977 to 1978, she worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. She then joined Munger, Tolles, & Rickershauser, passing the California bar thereafter in 1979. In 1981, she became special assistant to the attorney general at the United States Department of Justice, the deputy assistant attorney general in the civil division, and then principal deputy solicitor general. In 1986, she went back to Munger, Tolles, and (now) Olson as partner, where she remained until being appointed to the bench in 1995 by Governor Pete Wilson. She also teaches Civil Procedure in Practice at UCLA School of Law, is a contributor to the Federalist Society and a member of the American Law Institute, and is married to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Highberger.