They Came From Pennsylvania
Honorable Judge Jolene Kopriva
Upon graduating Duquesne University in the 1970's, the Honorable Judge Jolene Kopriva had no intentions on returning to her hometown of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania for work.
As fate and God's will would have it, that all would change. Kopriva graduated from Penn State in 1975 with a major in law enforcement and corrections. She wasn't sure if she was going to get into law school, but she did and it was off to Pittsburgh and Duquesne. It was during those three years that she made the decision that she would probably want to stay in Pittsburgh. However, when she graduated, she could not find a job in the city. There were not many women being hired there.
Kopriva grew up in Hollidaysburg, where she had babysat for Clyde Black, who was a partner in a local law firm. She says that she had approached him, when she was contemplating law school, and asked if women were attorneys. He told her that there were three of them in Blair County. It was that interaction with Attorney Black that helped her to start thinking about law school.
Then, in his law firm, Marion Patterson, the founding attorney had passed away suddenly. It was then that his firm was looking to hire a new attorney. That is when Black approached her parents and asked if she had secured a job, yet. They told him, "No."
After an interview, they hired her. She begrudgingly returned to Hollidaysburg because she didn't have another job and she needed a paycheck.
"I was the first female at the firm." She adds, "Little did I know that they would give me tremendous opportunities." She continues that her career has been really mapped out for her. "I always thought that God had a plan for me. I didn't know it at the time."
**To read Judge Kopriva's complete interview, check out an upcoming edition of They Came From Blair County
**Information for this article was obtained through an in-person interview with the Honorable Judge Jolene Kopriva.
**Photos are courtesy of the Honorable Judge Jolene Kopriva.