Catherine “Cate” Furay ’74, a UW-Eau Claire psychology graduate, recently was installed as a U.S. bankruptcy judge for the Western District of Wisconsin. She and her husband, Jim Sweet ’75, met while participating in student government at UW-Eau Claire, and both subsequently earned law degrees from the UW Law School.
Cate practiced bankruptcy, commercial litigation and business law in Madison until her appointment to the bench.
“My appointment to the bench affords me the chance to serve the public and the legal system,” Furay said. “It is great to be able to apply my 30 years of experience as a lawyer and adjunct law professor to the cases before me. The strong foundation provided by my undergraduate education at UW-Eau Claire made law school, the legal practice and now this judgeship all possible.”
Furay said clear and concise writing skills were demanded by many of her undergraduate professors. Although not a philosophy major, Furay said the outstanding faculty in the UW-Eau Claire philosophy and religious studies department helped her hone skills in critical thinking and analysis that are crucial in the law.
“Those demands are important to a lawyer and even more essential for a judge,” Furay said.