Cornelia A. Clark
Early life and career
Clark was born in Franklin, Tennessee in 1950, the daughter of William Howard Clark, Sr., and Cornelia Anne Ewin Clark. Her family moved to Atlanta when she was 12 years old. After high school in Atlanta, she attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where she received the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971, with a major in sociology. She subsequently earned the Master of Arts in Teaching at Harvard University in 1972 and worked as a teacher in Atlanta for several years.
Legal and judicial career
In 1976 she returned to Nashville to study at the Vanderbilt University Law School, where she was awarded the Juris Doctorate degree in 1979. After law school, she engaged in the private practice of law with the former firm of Farris, Warfield & Kanaday, where she was the first woman to be a partner, and worked as city attorney in her home town of Franklin. In 1989 Governor Ned McWherter appointed her circuit judge for the 21st Judicial District of Tennessee, a position she held from 1989 to 1999. While engaged in the practice of law, she also taught the subject as an adjunct professor at the Vanderbilt Law School.
In May 1999 the Tennessee Supreme Court appointed Clark to the position of Director of the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts. In 2005, while working in this position, she became one of three nominees chosen by the judicial selection commission created under the Tennessee Plan for potential appointment to a vacancy on the Tennessee Supreme Court, and was selected for the office by Governor Phil Bredesen. Her Supreme Court service began in September 2005. In June 2006, the judicial retention commission recommended her for a full eight-year term on the Supreme Court. Her retention in office was approved by Tennessee voters in August 2006.
Professional affiliations and activities
Clark is a member of the Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women and has served as Second Vice President of the Nashville Bar Association. She is named a Fellow of the Nashville, Tennessee, and American Bar Foundations, and member of the Williamson County Bar Association. She is also a member of American Judicature Society. She has also served as a faculty member of the American Academy of Judicial Education. In 2004, she was named as one of 21 members to the American Bar Association Commission on the American Jury.
- Supreme Court, Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006
- Gael Stahl, Chief Justice Connie Clark learned early the importance of being at her best, Tennessee Town & City, October 25, 2010
- Mindy Tate, Williamson County: Clark to be sworn as state’s chief justice Sept. 1 at Historic Courthouse, Williamson Herald, August 19, 2010