Senior Judge Betsy Kolkoski

Chair

Betsy Kolkoski

Judge Betsy Kolkoski serves as the Chair of the Southern Nevada Senior Law Program and is a founding member of the Board of Directors.

Judge Kolkoski retired from the Las Vegas Municipal Court in 2011 where she was the first woman to serve as Chief Judge.

She was one of five women to graduate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1971 and was appointed an Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Cincinnati in 1972 where she worked on diversity issues. This included the opportunity to write an opinion for the city council that lead to the police and fire departments opening the hiring of women and also, to advance the inclusion of minorities in housing opportunities.

Later when in Aurora, Colorado, Judge Kolkoski represented several small businesses as well as children with disabilities. Additionally, she served as a hearing officer for a local school district and for the state of Colorado regarding the educational rights of children with disabilities.

After moving to Las Vegas in 1990, Judge Kolkoski served as a hearing officer for the Las Vegas Taxicab Authority and in 1993 was appointed by Governor Bob Miller and later reappointed by Governor Kenny Guinn as the Elder Rights Attorney for the Division for Aging Services, a position she held until her appointment to the bench in 2000 by the Las Vegas City Council.

As the Elder Rights Attorney, Judge Kolkoski served seniors through educational and legislative initiatives. She was the Executive in Charge of the production of three elder abuse training videos for law enforcement, and she served as the guardian of vulnerable seniors. In collaboration with Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa and others, Judge Kolkoski drafted legislation and provided testimony before the legislature to revise the elder abuse statute that for the first time included the crime of financial exploitation. All bills presented to the legislature were enacted.

Judge Kolkoski was honored to serve the people of Las Vegas as a judge for eleven years. The City of Las Vegas Municipal Court was a leader in specialized courts designed to reduce and eliminate various challenges for the community and the courts. Judge Kolkoski presided over the DUI that helped defendants recover from drug and alcohol abuse. During her tenure, the DUI court served the largest number of defendants at one time.

After retirement Judge Kolkoski was honored to serve the Henderson Municipal Court as a senior judge for two years.

Judge Kolkoski was born in Hamilton, Ohio, and moved to Waterloo, Ontario, Canada when she was sixteen years old where she lived for seven years. She graduated from Waterloo Lutheran University (now Wilfred Laurier University) in Waterloo in 1968.

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Some so-called professionals are more interested in getting a new luxury car than taking care of their clients’ welfare. I have resided in Las Vegas since 1958 and feel that the Southern Nevada Senior Law Program is one place seniors can depend on. Their attorneys take care of our legal needs or guide us with the right information. Thank you for all of your help, and with gratitude I say great job.
77 year-old widower
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