Chief District Judge Catherine C. Blake


Chief District Judge Catherine C. Blake was born in 1950 in Boston, Massachusetts. Judge Blake attended Radcliffe College, graduating magna cum laude in 1972 with an A.B. degree. She pursued her law degree at Harvard Law School from 1972-75, achieving her J.D. in 1975 cum laude.

Judge Blake then entered private practice in Boston in 1975, as an associate with the firm of Palmer and Dodge. In 1977, Judge Blake joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland as an Assistant U. S. Attorney. She remained with that office until 1987, becoming First Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1983, and serving as the court appointed U. S. Attorney from 1985 to 1986.

In 1987, Judge Blake was appointed a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Maryland. She continued in that position until 1995, when she was nominated by President Clinton to be a United States District Judge. After being confirmed by the Senate on August 11, 1995, Judge Blake was commissioned on August 14, 1995. She served as the Court’s Administrative Judge from April 1999 to January 3, 2003, and received the Pro Bono Service Award from her colleagues in 2002. On October 4, 2014, Judge Blake was elevated to Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

Judge Blake previously served on the board of directors of the Federal Judges Association, was editor of the FJA electronic newsletter “In Camera”, and was FJA Treasurer from 2009 to 2013. She served on the Judicial Conference Financial Disclosure Committee from 2006 to 2010, and on the Defender Services Committee from 2010 to the present, currently serving as Chair of the Committee. She was appointed to the Board of the Federal Judicial Center in March 2012.

Judge Blake has been admitted to the following bars: Massachusetts (1975); Maryland (1977); U. S. District Court for the District of Maryland (1977); U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1977); and the District of Columbia (1979). She is a member of the Federal and Maryland Bar Associations, as well as the National Association of Women Judges; the Rule Day Club; the Wednesday Law Club and the Round Table. She is the author of two law review articles: “Rules and Guidelines for the Management of Attorney’s Fees,” 27 U. Balt. L. Rev. 1 (1997) and “Appellate Review of Criminal Sentencing in the Federal Courts,” 24 Kansas L. Rev. 279 (1976).