Elsijane Trimble Roy was born the daughter of a judge. At an early age, she knew she wanted to be an attorney. She would eventually become not only the third female to graduate from the University of Arkansas Law School, but the first female circuit court judge in Arkansas, the first female on the Arkansas Supreme Court, and the first female Federal judge from Arkansas.
She was also the first woman in the United States to follow her father as federal judge. She presided in the same courtroom where her father had served for 20 years. She retired in 1999 after 21 years on the federal bench.
Judge Roy has received many awards and honors including being selected Woman of the Year by the Business and Professional Woman’s Club in 1969, Arkansas Democrat Woman of the Year in 1976, an honor that her mother also received, and Outstanding Appellate Judge of 1976-1977 by the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association.
While she was on the Arkansas Supreme Court (to which she had been appointed by Governor David Pryor), she administered the oath of office to Anne Bartley to lead the Department of Arkansas Natural and Cultural Heritage. Ms. Bartley became the first woman in an Arkansas Governor’s cabinet. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the federal bench to succeed Judge Oren Harris.