Judge Julia Smith Gibbons was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 2002. Prior to her appointment as circuit judge, she served as United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee from 1983 - 2002. She was Chief Judge of the district court from 1994-2000.
Prior to becoming a federal district judge, Gibbons served as judge of the Tennessee Circuit Court for the 15th Judicial Circuit from 1981-83. Judge Gibbons chairs the Budget Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. From 1979 to 1981 Judge Gibbons was Legal Advisor to Governor Lamar Alexander. She was in the private practice of law from 1976 to 1979 with the Memphis firm of Farris, Hancock, Gilman, Branan & Lanier. In 1975-76 she served as law clerk to the late Hon.
William E. Miller, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1975.
Judge Gibbons received her J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. At Virginia she was elected to Order of the Coif and was a member of the Editorial Board of the Virginia Law Review. She received her B.A. magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 1972 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She is married to Bill Gibbons, who is Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.