Meet the Leader Event with Judge Rodney W. Sippel

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DUC 150

In this Meet the Leader series event, Judge Sippel, Chief District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri and Washington University School of Law alumnus, will discuss his career and answer questions from the audience. RSVP here.


Rodney W. Sippel joined the Washington University community as a law student in 1978. While in law school, he joined the Missouri staff of United States Senator Thomas F. Eagleton. In 1982, Sippel began working at the law firm now known as Hush Blackwell as a trial lawyer. In 1993, Majority Leader Richard Gephardt asked Sippel to join his staff as his Administrative Assistant responsible for the day to day operation of his Congressional Offices. After working with Congressman Gephardt for three years, Sippel returned to the private practice of law. In December 1996, Congressman Gephardt recommended Rodney Sippel to President Bill Clinton for a Federal Judgeship.

Judge Sippel was confirmed as a District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri by the United States Senate in November of 1997. He was elected by the judges of the Eighth Circuit as their District Court representative to the Judicial Conference of the United States in 2009. The Judicial Conference sets policy for the Federal Judiciary. During his time on the Judicial Conference, Judge Sippel was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to the Judicial Conference’s Executive Committee. In addition to serving on the Executive Committee, Judge Sippel served as the Executive Committee liaison to the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal and State Jurisdiction and was the liaison between the Federal Judiciary and the Conference of State Court Chief Justices. Judge Sippel previously served on the Judicial Conference’s Committee on the Judicial Branch from 2001 through 2010. Chief Justice John Roberts reappointed Judge Sippel to Chair the Judicial Branch Committee in 2015.

Rodney Sippel became the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on January 1, 2016. In 2018 the Bar Association of St. Louis named Judge Sippel as the Lawyer of the Year. He is a graduate of the University of Tulsa and received his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.