Wilhelmina Wright

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Wilhelmina Wright
Wilhelmina Wright.jpg
Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court
Assumed office
September 27, 2012
Appointed by Mark Dayton
Preceded by Helen Meyer
Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals
In office
September 3, 2002 – September 26, 2012
Appointed by Jesse Ventura
Preceded by Sam Hanson
Succeeded by John Smith
Personal details
Born (1964-01-13) January 13, 1964 (age 51)
Norfolk, Virginia
Spouse(s) Dan Schmechel
Children 1
Alma mater Yale University (B.A.)
Harvard University (J.D.)

Wilhelmina Marie "Mimi" Wright (born January 13, 1964) is an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. She is a former judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Early life and education[edit]

Wright was born on January 13, 1964 in Norfolk, Virginia.[1] Growing up, her mother had to advocate for her to receive equal education due to ongoing resistance to integration.[2] She went on to study literature at Yale University, and got her law degree from Harvard Law School.[3][4]


Wright served as a law clerk for Judge Damon Keith. She worked at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, LLP, in Washington, D.C. before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota.[4]

Wright has earned numerous awards during her career, including the Myra Bradwell Award in 2006 from the Minnesota Women Lawyers, the Lena O. Smith Achievement Award from the Black Women Lawyers Network in 2004, the B. Warren Hart Award for Public Service from the Saint Paul Jaycees in 2001, and the Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans Award in 2000.[4]

Wright was appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals in 2002 by Governor Jesse Ventura, on which she served from September 3, 2002 to September 26, 2012.[4]

Wright was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court on August 20, 2012 by Governor Mark Dayton, with her term beginning on September 27, 2012.[3][4] She is the first African American woman to serve on the court.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Wright is married to Ecolab executive Dan Schmechel. They have one daughter.[2]


  1. ^ Jones, Barbara L. (August 24, 2012). "Wright: Recognition of this moment is important". Minnesota Lawyer. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Ragsdale, Jim (August 20, 2012). "Dayton's historic choice: First black female Supreme Court judge". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Sepic, Matt (August 21, 2012). "Appeals Judge Wright is state's newest Supreme Court justice". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Judge Profile: Associate Justice Wilhelmina M. Wright". Minnesota Judicial Branch. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  5. ^ Jones, Barbara L. (October 19, 2012). "Wright promises to use her head and her heart on high court". Minnesota Lawyer. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Sam Hanson
Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals
Succeeded by
John Smith
Preceded by
Helen Meyer
Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court