Judge Paulsen, West Des Moines, was appointed to the bench in 1992. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, she earned her bachelor's degree with distinction in 1970 and her law degree with distinction in 1975 both from the University of Iowa. Judge Paulsen maintained a private practice in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and later in Des Moines, Iowa, for seventeen years before her appointment. She served as President of the Iowa Judges Association and on the Board of Governors of the: Iowa State Bar Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of Iowa, and National Association of Women Judges. She was a member of the Iowa Attorney General's Task Force on ADR and the Iowa Supreme Court Commission on Planning for the 21st Century. She is a fellow in the American Bar Foundation and an emeritus member of the C. Edwin Moore Inn of Court. In 2012 Judge Paulsen began serving as a Senior Judge. In 2012 she received the Arabella Mansfieldl Award from the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys and in 2017 she received the Willie Glanton Award from the Polk County Women Attorneys, both for her mentoring and contributions to the legal profession.She is married and has two children.