Bernice B. Donald
|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit|
|Assumed office |
September 8, 2011
|Appointed by||Barack Obama|
|Preceded by||Ronald Lee Gilman|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee|
December 26, 1995 – September 8, 2011
|Appointed by||Bill Clinton|
|Preceded by||Odell Horton|
|Succeeded by||John Thomas Fowlkes Jr.|
|Born||September 17, 1951|
DeSoto County, Mississippi, U.S.
|Education||University of Memphis (BA, JD)|
Duke University (LLM)
Bernice Bouie Donald (born September 17, 1951) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Early life and education
Born in DeSoto County, Mississippi, Donald received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Memphis State University in 1974 and a Juris Doctor from Memphis State University School of Law in 1979. She was in private practice in Memphis, Tennessee from 1979 to 1980, then became a staff attorney of the Employment Law & Economic Development Unit, Memphis Area Legal Services, Tennessee in 1980. Donald was an assistant public defender, Shelby County Public Defender's Office, Tennessee from 1980 to 1982. In 2018, as a federal appellate circuit judge, she received an LLM from Duke University School of Law.
State judicial service
Donald was a judge on Tennessee's General Sessions Criminal Court from 1982 to 1988, also teaching as an adjunct professor at Southwest Tennessee Community College from 1984 to 1989. Donald became a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority Alpha Eta Zeta chapter (Memphis, Tennessee) in 1983. From 1988 to 1995, she was a United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Western District of Tennessee.
Federal judicial service
District court service
On December 7, 1995, Donald was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee vacated by Odell Horton. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 22, 1995, and received her commission on December 26, 1995.
Court of appeals service
On December 1, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Donald for a judgeship on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to replace Judge Ronald Lee Gilman who took senior status on November 21, 2010. The full Senate confirmed Donald to the Sixth Circuit on September 6, 2011, in a 96–2 vote. She received her commission on September 8, 2011.
- List of African-American jurists
- List of first women lawyers and judges in the United States
- List of first women lawyers and judges in Tennessee