Leah Ward Sears
Many know Leah Ward Sears as the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. But she’s accomplished a lot more. Sears became the first woman and the youngest person ever to become a Georgia Supreme Court Justice when then Governor Zell Miller appointed her in 1992. Later that year, Sears ran to keep her seat and won the election. That made her the first woman in Georgia history to win a contested statewide election.
Sears was born in Germany where her father served in the Army. She settled in Atlanta after earning her law degree from Emory University in 1980.
She then worked at the prestigious Alston and Bird law firm for only five years, before Atlanta Mayor Andy Young appointed Sears as a City Traffic Court judge.
Her accomplishments include starting the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and the Battered Women’s Project.
Sears has also worked as an adjunct professor at the Emory Law School Council. Emory has honored Justice Sears as an “Outstanding Young Alumna.” Georgia Trend magazine ranked her one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians.”
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