Cheryl was born in Los Angeles, California in 1952. During her childhood, her family traveled and lived all over the world, eventually settling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During high school, Cheryl volunteered as a Spanish translator at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia and based on that experience, decided to become a lawyer. Cheryl graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1974 and Boston University School of Law in 1977. In 1981, she earned an LL.M from the University of Washington School of Law.
Cheryl spent her early practice years with Drinker, Biddle and Reath of Philadelphia, as a litigator. Since 1977 she has litigated in state and federal courts, practiced in front of state administrative tribunals, including serving as counsel to decision makers, and worked on public policy issues in the United States Congress as legal counsel and staff director for committees of the Congress. She has taught at the Lewis and Clark Law School.
Cheryl is a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and United States District Court. Cheryl’s pre-law jobs included medical secretary, library clerk, and fast foods server.
Cheryl is admitted to the Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands bar.
Cheryl lives in Portland with her husband, rescue dogs, and runner ducks. In her spare time, Cheryl researches and writes about children's books and how they can help children. Her book, Books to Grow With: A Guide to Using The Best Children's Fiction for Everyday Issues and Tough Challenges (Lutra Press; 2004) is in libraries worldwide.