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Meet Tanya Acker, an accomplished lawyer with Judge Judy’s approval

Tanya serves as one of three judges on CBS Television Distribution’s syndicated court show HOT BENCH, created by Judge Judy Sheindlin. She is an experienced civil litigator as well as a television commentator, having been a featured guest on “Good Morning America,” “Entertainment Tonight,” and “Larry King Live” to name a few. Throughout her career, Tanya also maintained a commitment to pro bono work, receiving the ACLU’s First Amendment Award for her successful representation of the homeless in a case against the City of Santa Barbara.







My first job ever was… as a law clerk to judge Dorothy W. Nelson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


I chose my career path because… Law allows you to do anything because you can learn something about everything.


My proudest accomplishment is… When I received the ACLU’s First Amendment award.


My boldest move to date was… Arbitrating cases on television!


I surprise people when I tell them… That I like to cook and I’m not bad at it (although not all of my culinary experiments are created equal.)


My best advice to people starting their career is… Do what you love and treat every job as your step to the next one, even if it’s at the same job. Be kind to people. Stand up for yourself — do it as politely as you can and know your basis for standing when you do so. Remember that facts matter. Add value. Be nice.


“Stand up for yourself — do it as politely as you can and know your basis for standing when you do so.”


My best advice from a mentor was… Make sure you’re having fun.


I would tell my 20-year old self… Good job. I like you and you’re fun.


My biggest setback was… I lost someone close to me once and it was very tough on me emotionally.


I overcame it by… Relying on the love of family and friends.


Work/life balance is… The trick to staying healthy and sane.


If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… I want to compete in a (horseback) riding competition but I’m not good enough yet! I need to practice more!


I stay inspired by… Reading good things, planning adventures, and realizing how fortunate I am.


The future excites me because… We know more than we used to and more people can participate in building it.


My next step is… All the good things I can fit in.