Dorothy Comstock Riley Photo

Dorothy Comstock Riley

Born: Dec 6, 1924

Death: Oct 23, 2004

Birthplace: Detroit

Profession: Lawyer

Nationality: United States

Dorothy Comstock Riley

Date of Birth : Dec 6, 1924
Date of Death : Oct 23, 2004
Birth Place : Detroit

Dorothy Comstock Riley was a lawyer and judge from the U.S. state of Michigan, serving on the Michigan Supreme Court and the first woman to serve on the Michigan Court of Appeals. She was the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the Supreme Court of any state. Riley was born in Detroit, where she attended public schools, graduating from Northwestern High School. She attended Wayne State University, where she earned a B.A. in 1946. She received an LL.B. degree from Wayne State University Law School in 1949. Female lawyers were not common at the time and reportedly, when she interviewed at several law firms after graduation, the qualification they were most interested in was her typing ability. Instead of working at such firms, she began her own practice in the Detroit area. In 1972, Riley became a Wayne County Circuit Judge and in 1976, she became the first woman to serve on the Michigan Court of Appeals. She ran for the Supreme Court in 1982 and lost. On December 9, 1982, Republican Governor William Milliken nevertheless appointed Riley to the Court to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Blair Moody on November 26.


  • Lawyer
  • Judge

Also known as

  • Judge Dorothy Comstock Riley
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