September 8, 2011 15:17 Age: 3 yrs

Judge Workman 72L, trailblazer for women in law, dies Sept. 2

Anne Workman 72L, senior judge for the Superior Courts of Georgia, died Sept. 2.

The 63-year-old was remembered by colleagues as a trailblazer for women in the field of law and criminal justice. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church at Emory University. A graveside service will be held Saturday in Woodruff, S.C.

In 1973, Workman was DeKalb County's first female prosecutor when she became juvenile court solicitor, the start of a 35-year career in law. She was DeKalb County’s first woman judge, and later, first woman elected president of the Council of State Court Judges of Georgia.

"Judge Workman was one of the first pioneer judges that were women in the state as well as in the county," DeKalb State Court Judge Wayne M. Purdom told the Daily Report. "She also served in four courts. I don't know anyone else who's done that."

Georgia State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver 72L characterized her classmate as "a very hard-working judge, very careful and thoughtful about the work she did.

"She died way too young," Oliver said, "with way too much to do."

Workman was remembered Sept. 7 in the Daily Report with a speech she made at the DeKalb Bar Association Bench and Bar Dinner in March 2008.

The talk was a clear-eyed assessment of more than three decades of practice and 26 years on the bench. 

When Workman graduated from Emory Law in 1972, 4 percent of lawyers nationally were women, she recalled. Practice for new female attorneys in Atlanta was a challenge, from being called “lawyerettes” to being told they couldn’t apply for positions because of their gender.

“The landscape is so vastly different today in DeKalb,” Workman wrote. “There are scores of women lawyers in the courtrooms and on the bench. We no longer stand out in lonely little clusters of women attorneys. Instead, we blend into the mosaic of all the attorneys in the profession. We belong in these law offices; we belong in these courtrooms. We belong in the practice of law.  We have proved that to ourselves and to the profession.”

Judge Workman’s obituary

Read the speech


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