Joan Cook was born in Spokane, Washington in 1950. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1960. Ms. Cook graduated with a Bachelor of Science in political Science in 1972 from the University of Santa Clara in California. She attended law school in San Francisco at Lincoln University School of Law and graduated as Valedictorian with a JD degree in 1983. Ms. Cook interned with the California Supreme Court under Justice Allen Broussard, and was later employed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Cook taught at Lincoln University Law School from 1983 to 1987. She began practicing in San Francisco in 1987 until she moved to Great Falls, Montana where her and her husband, Billy B. Miller, had an office until he was elected Justice of the Peace in 1994. Ms. Cook went on to open her private practice of Law Offices of Joan E. Cook. She taught at the University of Great Falls in the paralegal program from 1987-1990. After the death of her husband in 1999, Ms. Cook moved to Missoula where she continues to practice. Ms. Cook has practiced family law as well as criminal, personal injury, estate planning and probate since her arrival in Montana in 1987. She is licensed to practice in the State of California (inactive) as well as in Montana. She has been admitted to practice before the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as the United States Supreme Court where she has presented oral argument. Ms. Cook has given many presentations and is a recognized expert on family law issues. Ms. Cook is a member of the Family Law Section of the Montana Bar Association as well as the American Bar Association.