Her Honor, Ethelee Davidson Baxter, was born in Jackson, Ky., in 1939, and was raised in Lexington, Ky. Baxter graduated from Lafayette High School in 1957 and was inducted into the first class of the Lafayette High School Hall of Fame in 1989. She graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in English, Speech and Drama. While at UK, she was a Wildcat cheerleader, President of the Blue Marlins synchronized swimming team, and a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
In 1970, Baxter and her family moved to San Francisco, Calif., where she received her Juris Doctor degree from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1974, followed by a Masters of Law in 2009. She practiced law in San Francisco until 1982 when she was appointed Commissioner to the San Francisco Superior Court.
Baxter was appointed by Gov. George Deukmejian to the San Francisco Municipal Court in 1987 and by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1992 to the San Francisco Superior Court, where she presided over the Family Law and the Criminal Felony Trial departments.