The SUPREME COURT of MISSOURI Historical Society

Judge Ann Covington

Judge Ann Covington was the first female judge of the Missouri Supreme Court and the first female chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court. She was appointed in 1987 and served until 2001.

Upon graduation from University of Missouri School of Law in 1977, Covington served as an assistant attorney general until 1979 and was in private practice in Columbia until 1987. She became the first woman to serve on the Missouri Court of Appeals in September 1987, appointed by Governor John Ashcroft. In December 1988 she accepted an appointment by Ashcroft to the Supreme Court of Missouri. She was retained by the voters in 1990 and served as chief justice from 1993 to 1995 before retiring from the bench in 2001. She then accepted a position as partner at Bryan Cave LLP, from which she retired in February 2010.

Judge Covington’s contributions to the legal community have been recognized statewide and nationwide. The Jefferson City News Tribune declared her as its Statesman of the Month in May 1994 and its Statesman of the Year in 1995. The Women Lawyers’ Association awarded Covington its President’s Award in 1995. She was awarded the Second Annual President’s Award by the Women Legislators of Missouri in 1996 and the Athena Award by the Woman’s Network of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce in 2002. Covington has participated as a leader and member of several professional boards and organizations: the Mid-Missouri Legal Services Corporation, Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, National Center for State Courts, the American Bar Association, and the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and more. In 1998 she helped establish the Women’s Justice Awards. Judge Covington was inducted into the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame in 2017 and recognized by the American Bar Association as one of the “Women Trailblazers in the Law.”