Detailed Personal and Educational Background
Kathleen Richard Callaghan is a native of Baton Rouge and has lived in Baton Rouge all her life. She grew up in Southdowns and Pollard Estates. Her father, Oscar Richard, still lives in Pollard Estates.
Kathleen is a 1967 graduate of University High School. She married in 1969 and became the mother of two children, Max and Caitlin Magbee. After a few years of marriage and motherhood, she returned to LSU in 1980 to finish the degree she had started thirteen years earlier.
She earned her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree in 1985. During her years in the Landscape Architecture program, Kathleen maintained a perfect 4.0 average and was on the Dean’s List every semester. She was inducted into several honor societies and received numerous awards during her undergraduate studies. She was one of the few who passed the Landscape Architecture professional licensing exam on the first try. She still actively maintains her license to practice.
After 20 years of marriage, in 1988, Kathleen suddenly found herself going through an unexpected divorce. Knowing that she would have to provide for herself and her youngest child financially, Kathleen returned to school again by enrolling in the LSU Law School. During her law school days, as a single parent, Kathleen had to not only meet the demanding study requirements of the law school program, but also had to juggle the responsibilities of single parenthood. She drove carpool, shopped, cooked, helped with homework, and used her sewing skills to make sure her daughter had nice prom dresses when she could not afford to buy them.
During law school, Kathleen also worked part time as a law clerk, supplementing her limited income from student loans and child support payments. During her senior year in law school, Kathleen was elected Chair of the prestigious Appellate Advocacy Board. Membership on the board is earned by achieving high academic success in the legal writing program.
After earning her Juris Doctor degree 1993, Kathleen practiced law for three years with a small firm, handling family law cases involving a variety of issues, including divorce, child custody, spousal and child support, community property and domestic violence. Her clients, men and women, appreciated her empathetic, strong representation and her ability to explain the laws pertaining to their cases in an easily understood manner.
After leaving private practice, Kathleen began working for Judge Jennifer Luse in the East Baton Rouge Parish Family Court in January 1997. She handled a variety of duties which included research, writing written reasons for judgment, answering questions posed by attorneys and the general public regarding the law and procedures, and conducting sales and auctions of community property between divorcing parties. She also served as a volunteer on a committee formed to write legislation changing various laws related to divorce.
After leaving the Family Court, Kathleen continued her experience in the courthouse as a lawyer on the staff of the Honorable Michael McDonald in the 19th Judicial District Court. From there, she joined the staff of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Bureau of Legal Services, where she served as a staff attorney trying Medicaid cases before various courts. In 2002, Kathleen ran as a candidate for Family Court judge, Division D, for the Parish of East Baton Rouge and won 48% of the vote. Following the election, she returned to the legal staff of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
In 1997, Kathleen married John Broussard, also a native of Baton Rouge. Kathleen considers John the great "love of her life" and her best friend. Their romance was the subject of a Valentines Day article in the February 10, 2002 edition of the Advocate on “May-December relationships." John is 11 years younger than Kathleen, though that fact seems less significant now than it did when they began dating in 1990, when she was 40 and he was 29! John is devoted to Kathleen and her two children.