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Cathy R. Silak

Of Counsel



Cathy is a member of the firm’s Appellate and Mediation practice groups. She began her career with Hawley Troxell in 1984 and became partner in 1988. From 1989 to 1990 she was Associate General Counsel of Morrison Knudsen. In 1990 Cathy was appointed by Governor Cecil D. Andrus as the first woman judge on the Idaho Court of Appeals. She was appointed in 1993 to the Idaho Supreme Court and became the Court’s Vice-Chief Justice in 1997. She served on the Supreme Court until 2000, and in 2001 she resumed her partnership with Hawley Troxell. After serving as the Founding Dean of Concordia University School of Law, Idaho from 2008-2016, Cathy became Concordia University’s Vice President of Community Engagement, and in 2017 returned to Hawley Troxell once again as Of Counsel.

Cathy has practiced law in California and Washington D.C., and was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. She also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Idaho.

Cathy serves as Pro Bono Counsel for Hawley Troxell.




American Bar Association Council of Appellate Lawyers

American Bar Foundation, Fellow

Andrus Center for Public Policy

American Law Institute, Elected member

American Heart Association

Richard C. Fields American Inn of Court No. 130, Bencher Emeritus

American Arbitration Association National Roster of Employment Arbitrators and National Roster of Commercial Arbitrators, Panelist

Idaho Women Lawyers, Member

Boise Art Museum, Board of Trustees, Secretary, 2020–2021

International Women’s Forum of Idaho, Board of Directors,
since 2020

Boise State University, Master of Public Administrative Program, Adjunct faculty member

Concordia University of Law, Idaho; Founding Dean, 2008–2016, Vice President of Community Engagement, 2016-2017

Idaho Community Foundation, President and CEO, 2004–2008

Idaho Supreme Court Appellate Settlement Program, Settlement Justice, 1993–2000

Idaho Supreme Court Justice, 1993–2000

Idaho Court of Appeals Judge, 1990–1993

The Learning Lab, Past President and founding Board member


Law School:

University of California at Berkeley School of Law, J.D., 1976

University of Virginia School of Law, LL.M., 1995


Harvard University, M.A. City Planning, 1973


New York University, B.A. Sociology and French Literature, 1971


Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice, 2022

Idaho Business Review, Icon Award recipient, 2018

Idaho State Bar, Distinguished Lawyer Award, 2010

Idaho Women Lawyers, Kate Feltham Award

Boise Family YMCA, Service to Youth Award

Boise State University, Women Making History Award

Idaho State Bar, Family Law Award

Women’s and Children’s Alliance, Joyce Stein Award

Women’s and Children’s Alliance, Tribute to Women & Industry (TWIN) award recipient, 2004

Soroptimist International, “Women Helping Women” Award

March of Dimes, White Rose Award


Presenter, William H. Bowen School of Law, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Enhanced Campaign Finance Disclosure and Recusal Rules to Offset the Influence of Dark Money in State Supreme Court Races, 2017

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