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J. Scott MacDonald’s journey to becoming a Judge in Clark County, Nevada began when he moved to Las Vegas with his family at the age of 8. He attended E.W. Griffith Elementary, Hyde Park Jr. High, and is a 1975 graduate of Western High School. Scott grew up in a working-class family and learned the value of hard work at an early age. Scott’s father is a Korean War veteran and father of eight children who, after retiring from the air force, worked as a bartender and was a member of the Culinary Union until his retirement. During high school, Scott always worked in one job or another, as a busboy at the Las Vegas Hilton, at the old Las Vegas Ice House, or mowing lawns, knowing that he needed to earn his own way to college.
Scott would complete a B.S. degree in accounting from Brigham Young University in 1982 and go on to graduate from the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1985, with his J.D. in hand, Scott returned to his home State of Nevada.
Scott has practiced law in Clark County for over 34 years. During that time, Scott has developed an extensive body of experience including 3 years in the Clark County District Attorney’s Office prosecuting juvenile crime and over 30 years in the private practice of law working with families in the areas of divorce, custody, guardianship, financial reorganization and estate planning. Scott’s entire professional experience has been working with people at some of the most stressful times of their lives. Perhaps more importantly, Scott, like so many of his clients, has experienced the pain, stress and anxiety of the breakup of a family. From this experience, Scott gained empathy and understanding in dealing with his clients that were going through similar experiences. Scott hopes to be elected to the Family Court where he can use his lifetime of experience, both personal and professional, to help people get through this painful experience with as little trauma as possible and in an environment of empathy and understanding.
Scott has been recognized for his work with charitable organizations, donates his time frequently in pro-bono work and the Legal Aid Center’s “Ask-A-Lawyer” program for indigent family law clients and is active in his church. Scott has been married to his wife, Jane Kravenko MacDonald, for over 27 years. Jane is a Las Vegas native and together they raised five children in the Las Vegas Valley and now have 11 grandchildren. Family and community are the greatest motivators in his life and what he cherishes the most.
Scott has been asked many times since starting this journey, “why do you want to become a judge”? His answer is always, “because it is my time; It is my time to give back to the community I love.” “I want to ensure families receive fair solutions and most importantly, advocate for children first.” Scott will bring maturity, empathy and fairness to the bench and understands the immediate and long term impact the courts can have on families.