Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge was born and raised in Nevada, Missouri. She earned B.S. and J.D. degrees from the University of Missouri–Columbia. After graduation, she was a partner in the law firm of Russell, Brown, Bickel & Breckenridge in Nevada. She was appointed and then elected as Associate Circuit Judge of Vernon County from 1982 to 1990. She was a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, from 1990 to 2007, serving as chief judge from 1998 to 2000. In 2007, Chief Justice Breckenridge was appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri. She was elected chief justice by her colleagues for a two-year term, beginning July 1, 2015.
Chief Justice Breckenridge is a member of the National Center of State Courts Task Force on Fines, Costs and Bail Practices and was instrumental in establishing the Supreme Court’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness. She is a faculty member of the Institute for Court Management Purposes and Responsibilities of Courts and a member of the Missouri Crossover Youth Policy team. Chief Justice Breckenridge is a Fellow of the Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Council of State Government Toll Fellow, and an American Bar Foundation Fellow.