Judge Rufe was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received a B.A. from Adelphi University in 1970, and a J.D. from the Law School of the State University of New York in 1977. Judge Rufe served as deputy in the Bucks County Public Defender’s Office and also served as coordinator in the Juvenile Division from 1977 to 1982. From 1982 to 1993, Judge Rufe was in private practice, during which time she served as a solicitor for the Bucks County Children and Youth Services Agency from 1984 to 1988. Judge Rufe served as a judge on the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas from 1994 to 2002. Judge Rufe was appointed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on May 3, 2002.