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    BEHIND THE BENCH MEET JUDGE MAUREEN WOOD

    ROCKDALE COUNTY’S FIRST BLACK SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE

    In this election year, I have had the honor to meet and work with some amazing women who were running for either election or re-election. Maureen Wood, Judge of Rockdale County Juvenile court was one of them. She was running to become not only the first Black but Black female judge for Superior court in Rockdale County.

    As a longtime Rockdale citizen, Judge Wood has served the citizens of Rockdale County through the legal profession for nearly two decades – first as an associate at the law firm of Burroughs & Keene, LLC, later, as a partner at Wood & Wood, LLP. She has been the first female and first African American Juvenile Court Judge in Rockdale County.

    Judge Wood is a graduate of Spelman College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctorate.

    She was raised in a family of entrepreneurs, educators, and public servants. As a result, she knew that through the legal profession, she too would utilize her talents for the benefit of her community.

    She was appointed to Rockdale county’s Juvenile court in 2016 and has been a force in the community ever since. She has touch many lives through the programs she created.

    I asked Judge Wood these questions and here is how she responded:

    What did she want to be when she was growing up?

    “I didn’t know what I wanted to be, but grew up in an era when we were constantly being told that STEM was the future. I spent lots of time going to STEM camps and even went to college with a dual degree Math/Biomedical Engineering focus. It was my Sophomore year at Spelman College when I started gravitating to the legal profession, said Judge Wood.

    Who were some women who influenced your life?

    She said, “So many women have influenced me, but I think I’d like to highlight my mother and grandmother. First, my mother because she showed me that it was possible to successfully balance work and family. I watched her make many sacrifices for our family and fully embrace and love motherhood. She taught me to have a heart for serving others and pursue my passion no matter the financial loss that may come with that choice. I watched her leave a lucrative career in banking to spend more time with us and pursue her passion to teach.”

    “Next, my grandmother. She was a mother, wife, educator, and community leader. I grew up watching her manage a business, hold public office, handle sorority business, and advocate for the voiceless. She and my grandfather were heavily involved in the civil rights movement and she made it a point to teach me and my siblings and cousins about our not so distant past”, she said

    Maureen Wood began her career as a community based general practitioner representing clients in every class of court. She served proudly as legal advisor and zealous advocate for clients with a diverse array of legal matters (residential and commercial real estate, individual and small business bankruptcy, wills & estate planning, civil litigation, family law and juvenile law). Over the years, she found that her clients’ greatest need for quality legal advice, support and advocacy, was in family law.

    What advice would you give to a young woman about life?

    “My advice about life: Life is short, make every day count. Put God first. Don’t neglect your family or friendships. Take your education seriously. Don’t neglect your gifts. Pursue your passions and find ways to help and give back others.”

    The weather didn’t always cooperate with us, but Maureen kept smiling and holding her sign. She waved at people as they drove in to vote. Many of them recognized who she was, not because of her signs, commercials or any media coverage, but because she had affected their lives in the community or in her court.

    One day I watched as an older woman, who was holding a sign for her opponent, got in Maureen’s face. But Maureen wasn’t disrespectful to her. I went over to make sure she was alright. I felt like I needed to protect her, because I saw her as my sister and friend. I know that it did shake her a little but she keep her eyes on what was her mission.

    After tireless days of hard work and sleepless nights, it all payed off. My sister and friend, won her race. Maureen Wood is now Rockdale county has a new Superior court Judge. She has made history in the county as the first Black and Black Woman Judge for this court.

    She is married to the love of her life, David Wood for twenty (20) years and they have three wonderful daughters together.

    Real Women Atlanta Magazine would like to honor and congratulate Judge Maureen Wood!

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