ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Susan H. Black has been selected to receive the prestigious 2023 American Inns of Court Lewis F. Powell Jr. Award for Professionalism and Ethics, which recognizes attorneys, judges, government officials, journalists, or others who have rendered exemplary service in the areas of professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence. Black, a circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, will receive the award in October at the 2023 American Inns of Court Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States.
“Judge Black is an important reminder to all of us of what is possible when we are open to one another’s opinions, accepting of our differences without judgment, committed to civil and respectful dialogue, steadfast in our ethics, and sincerely caring about one another as advocates and as human beings,” writes Allegra J. Lawrence-Hardy, Esquire, of Lawrence & Bundy LLC, who nominated her mentor for the award. “Judge Black exemplifies everything our noble profession is intended to be.”
Black has achieved many firsts in her career. She became Florida’s first woman county court judge in Duval County in 1973, then Florida’s first woman circuit court judge in 1975, when she joined the state’s Fourth Judicial Circuit. In 1979, she joined the Middle District of Florida as the state’s first woman federal court judge and served as chief judge between 1990 and 1992. She was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in 1992.
Black was instrumental in obtaining the charter for the first Inn in Florida, the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court. She served two terms as president of the Bedell Inn and has served on the Inn’s executive committee. Black also played a key role in the formation of other Inns of Court in Florida. In 2022, she received the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Eleventh Circuit. In addition to mentoring more than 80 law clerks, Black has also taught an appellate practice course at Duke University School of Law. She was a member of the Federal Judicial Center Board.
Black earned an undergraduate degree from Florida State University in 1965. In 1967, she earned her law degree from the University of Florida College of Law and now serves on the University of Florida’s President’s Council. She earned a master of laws degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1984.
The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, inspires the legal community to advance the rule of law by achieving the highest level of professionalism through example, education, and mentoring. The organization’s membership includes nearly 30,000 federal, state, and local judges; lawyers; law professors; and law students in more than 360 chapters nationwide. More information is available at www.innsofcourt.org.