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TV’s ‘Divorce Court’ Judge Hated Law School and Law Practice

Posted Apr 6, 2011 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The judge who presides on TV’s Divorce Court didn’t enjoy working 60 hours a week at a law firm, and was too shy to enjoy law school.

Lynn Toler talked to McClatchy News Service about her path to a TV judgeship. She goofed off at Harvard University and hated law school at the University of Pennsylvania. "I was a very shy person and don't like to argue," she tells McClatchy. "I thought, 'What am I doing here?’ ”

Law firm practice wasn’t any better. "I was married, had a husband with four stepsons, I'd just had a baby and was working 60 hours a week at a law firm and I was about to blow my brains out," she says.

When the municipal judge in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, retired, Toler decided she wanted the job. She campaigned with her 10-month-old son in tow and won the election by three votes, the McClatchy story says. Toler’s first TV job was on the short-lived show Power of Attorney. Five years later, she readily agreed to preside on Divorce Court.

Toler says she has never been divorced, but that doesn’t mean marriage is easy. When she and her spouse got married, Toler says, she was “a frightened person” and her husband was “an angry person.” She was the first to change.

“I spent my whole marriage trying not to have an argument,” Toler told McClatchy. “One day in the bathroom I decided I wasn't giving in. And it was 18 months of the rockiest road I've ever traveled.”

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