She’s strong, savvy and resolute. She’s intuitive, concerned and compassionate. She’s a realist, an innovator and a leader. She’s Judge Glenda A. Hatchett, and she knows the difference between achieving success and making a difference.
A visionary who knows how to get results, Judge Hatchett is renowned in the legal community for her groundbreaking courtroom style. Best known for her revolutionary “interventions,” she is widely respected for her work with today’s youth, which not only sets her apart from other judges, but also establishes her as a leader in the justice system nationwide.
Judge Hatchett is also the author of the national bestseller, Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say (Harper Collins, 2003), based on her extensive professional experiences as a jurist and her own personal experience as a mother of two boys.
The Judge also serves as national spokesperson for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), a non-profit volunteer organization that trains volunteers to represent abused and neglected children and help them navigate the court system.
In May 2005, Judge Hatchett received a special honor at the Mayor of New York City’s residence, Gracie Mansion. Katherine Oliver, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, presented Judge Hatchett with the Mayor’s “Made In NY” award for her contribution to New York City’s daytime television community. Alongside other “Made In NY” winners, actress Susan Lucci of “All My Children,” Geraldine Laybourne, CEO of Oxygen Media, and Twila Liggett, Creator/Executive Producer of PBS’ “Reading Rainbow,” Judge Hatchett presided over the opening bell at NASDAQ on the morning of the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
When asked about her numerous accolades and awards, Judge Hatchett will always point out that her most important accomplishment is her ability to have a positive impact on the lives of troubled youth and their families. As evidenced by her popular, award-winning, nationally syndicated television series Judge Hatchett – which begins its sixth season on September 5, 2005 – Judge Hatchett defines a whole new courtroom television approach, and continues to urge viewers to become mentors to at-risk youth in their communities.
“I never really expected to be a lawyer. I went to law school to expand my options, and while I was there, I discovered a passion for litigation. After my clerkship, I started litigating at Delta Air Lines, and I truly believed I would remain there for the balance of my career. I couldn’t have been more wrong!”
After graduating from Emory University School of Law and completing a coveted clerkship in the U.S. Federal Courts, Judge Hatchett took a position at Delta Air Lines, where she would remain for almost 10 years. As the company’s highest-ranking African-American woman, Judge Hatchett served dual roles in both the legal and public relations departments. As manager of public relations, she supervised global crisis management, and handled media relations for all of Europe, Asia and 50 U.S. cities. In fact, her outstanding contributions were recognized by Ebony Magazine, which named Hatchett one of the “100 Best and Brightest Women in Corporate America.”
Judge Hatchett made the difficult decision to leave Delta in order to accept an appointment as chief presiding judge of the Fulton County, Georgia Juvenile Court. “If anyone had told me that I’d be a judge someday, I’d have said they were crazy! However, certain people I respect in the community asked me to consider the judgeship.” Upon accepting the position, Judge Hatchett became Georgia’s first African-American chief presiding judge of a state court and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country. As Judge Hatchett states, “I simply could not turn down an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of wayward children. “
The compassionate mother of two quickly fell in love with her judicial role, and worked tirelessly during her eight-year tenure to make a difference in the lives of young people. The innovative judge soon garnered national attention for her “creative sentencing,” which can still be seen today in the form of “interventions” on her television program, Judge Hatchett.
The concept of interventions was groundbreaking. Judge Hatchett worked in conjunction with community organizations and businesses including the Boys and Girls Clubs and Urban League to design a program where troubled youth would be exposed to successful executives and community leaders who would inspire them to make changes in their lives. Sentences often included sending troubled youth to one of the participating organizations in an effort to teach them how to take positive steps toward their futures.
After her first year on the bench, the local chapter of the National Bar Association recognized Judge Hatchett for her pioneering leadership in revolutionizing the Fulton County Juvenile Court system, selecting her as Outstanding Jurist of the Year.
Judge Hatchett was also honored with the Roscoe Pound Award, the highest award for Outstanding Work in Criminal Justice from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. The Spelman College Board of Trustees selected Judge Hatchett to receive the Outstanding Community Service Award, and she was also honored with the NAACP’s Thurgood Marshall Award. In 1990, Judge Hatchett helped found the Truancy Intervention Project, which enlists the help of legal volunteers to provide early, positive intervention with children reported as truants.
Judge Hatchett won a Prism Award (2003) for Best Unscripted Non-Fiction Series or Special for Television for the “Carrie’s Out of Rehab” episode, a poignant look at addiction and recovery.
Judge Glenda Hatchett serves on the board of directors for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), a Fortune 500 company that is the nation’s leading provider of healthcare services. She was named Woman of the Year by the national organization 100 Black Men of America, and one of the 10 Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of America.
Judge Hatchett did her undergraduate work at Mount Holyoke College, which presented her with an honorary degree and named her a Distinguished Alumna. Her other alma mater, Emory University Law School, named her Outstanding Alumni of the Year and presented her with the highest award given to university alumni, the Emory Medal, for her unwavering commitment to children’s issues.
An Atlanta native, Judge Hatchett maintains her Atlanta residence where she lives with her two sons. She also keeps an apartment in New York City, where Judge Hatchett is produced.
Judge Hatchett “Fast Facts”
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