Tim Woods is the 25th Judicial District’s new magistrate judge.
He was sworn in on Monday.
A native of Walnut Creek, Calif., Woods graduated from Northgate High School in 1997. Following high school he attended Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., where he received a bachelor’s degree in history in 2001.
After college, Woods attended a police academy in California before deciding to get his law degree. He attended Washburn University’s School of Law in Topeka, where he graduated from in 2009.
Woods said he got into law because he was always interested in serving others via the law.
“I completely enjoy helping people,” he said.
Subsequently, Woods began working for Kansas Legal Services in Dodge City. He was there from 2009 to 2016.
Then from 2016 to early 2020, he worked at Child Support Services.
This is Wood’s first job as a judge. He said being a judge is a natural progression to his career that he’s been looking forward to.
“It's something I kind of thought about ever since law school, a natural progression to my career, work as a lawyer for a bit and then get a chance to be a judge,” he said. “When this opportunity arose I took it, put in the paperwork, had the interview and I'm very fortunate that they selected me to be the magistrate judge for Finney County.”
Woods lived with his wife of six and a half years, Michelle, and their 6-year-old daughter. Michelle is a teacher and will teach at Charles O. Stones Intermediate School for the 2020-21 school year.
Woods said he came to Kansas for law school because of a scholarship opportunity and for the university’s family law program, but he stayed because he fell in love with the southwest Kansas area.
“After law school I went to work or Kansas Legal Services in Dodge City and fell more in love with southwest Kansas in particular,” he said.
He also met his wife here, she was a high school teacher in Liberal.
In his first year as magistrate judge, Woods hopes to learn more about the job and how to make it “more efficient and more responsive to the people’s needs.”
“To both serve justice more efficiently but also remembering I have to serve the cause of justice and be fair and proper to the (people) before me in the courthouse,” he said.
Outside of work, Woods said he and his wife serve as foster parents.
“We feel that’s an important contribution you can make to the community,” he said. “My wife and I signed up for that because we thought it was a good thing to do, we’re real passionate about making the lives of children better.”
Woods also likes to speak with civic organizations, educational organizations and schools about the law.
“My particular interest is teaching kids about the legal system and I look forward to speaking to various school classes in the area,” he said.
If any civic or educational organization wants him to come speak with them, Woods said they can contact the district court administrator to set something up.