An associate justice with the Minnesota Supreme Court, Gildea completed her four-year undergraduate education at UMM in three years with a 4.0 (A) grade point average. She was named a Scholar of the College, a member of the Dean's List and received a Medal for Outstanding Undergraduate. She holds a juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center where she graduated magna cum laude in 1986.
She is the chair of the Supreme Court’s Gender Fairness Implementation Committee and serves as the Court’s liaison to the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure, and the Board of Legal Certification. Gildea also serves on the Council and the Assembly of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Gildea is the author of an article, "Sifting the Dross: Expert Witness Testimony in Minnesota after the Daubert Trilogy," which was published in the William Mitchell Law Review. She is also profiled in a book by UMM Chancellor Sam Schuman, titled Old Main: Small Colleges in Twenty-First Century America.
Gildea’s charge as an associate justice with the Supreme Court is to review decisions of lower courts to determine if the lower courts correctly applied the law. Her decision early on to attend UMM was significant for her as well. "…the day I decided to attend UMM was one of the best days of my life," said Gildea.
(From the 2007 news story)