On November 4, 2008, Gail Chang Bohr was elected to an open judicial seat. She began her term on January 5, 2009, and was the first Asian American judge in Ramsey County.
She retired on Mar. 31, 2014.
Appointed and assigned to serve statewide as Senior Judge from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021.
Bohr was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, of Chinese parents, and she is the ninth of 15 children. She came to the United States to attend Wellesley College in Massachusetts on a full scholarship in 1962. She graduated with a B.A. from Wellesley College in 1966 and holds a M. Sc. in Social Work from Simmons College School of Social Work. After a 19-year career in clinical social work with children and families, she entered William Mitchell College of Law, graduating magna cum laude in 1991. Bohr was editor and executive editor of William Mitchell Law Review. Prior to heading the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota (CLC), she clerked for Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice A.M. "Sandy" Keith and practiced law at Faegre & Benson LLP.
As executive director of CLC from1995 to 2008, Bohr initiated programs to provide representation to children in the foster care system. In addition to representing children in court, managing and consulting with over 270 CLC pro bono lawyers, and advocating for system reform, she has been co-counsel in 21 federal and state appeals. Bohr participated in the making of the American Bar Association (ABA) DVD, “Interviewing the Child Client,” and taught trial advocacy for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. She served as faculty for CLC’s training programs for pro bono lawyers who represented children in the foster care system. She has written many articles on due process rights and the representation of children, and has served on national and statewide committees including the ABA Section of Litigation Children's Rights Litigation Committee Working Group, the ABA Project for Judicial Excellence in Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings, the Minnesota Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, the Ramsey County Juvenile Court Children's Justice Initiative, and the Hennepin County Juvenile Court Children’s Justice Initiative.
Bohr has received numerous awards for her work as a child advocate. In June 2008, she was named one of the top 10 legal newsmakers of the decade by Minnesota Lawyer. In 2007, she received the ABA Child Advocacy Award, the William Mitchell College of Law Warren E. Burger Distinguished Service Award, and Minnesota Lawyer's inaugural Outstanding Service to the Profession Award. She was the recipient of the Minnesota State Bar Association Civil Litigation Section Advocate Award in 2004, the Minnesota Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award in 2000, and the Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies Distinguished Service Award in 1997.
Bohr is an active member of the Ramsey County Bar Association, the Hennepin County Bar Association, the National Asian Pacific Bar Association, and the Infinity Project, which is working to put more women on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.