Running With Ruby: A Story of Overcoming

Running With Ruby: A Story of Overcoming

Judge Ruby Davis stands outside in a red coat and a t-shirt with her slogan.
Judge Ruby Davis

“Run with Ruby” has been more than a campaign slogan for Judge Ruby Davis. It has been a mantra for her life. From a young, single mom in high school to becoming the District Judge of the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Alabama, Davis’ story is one of overcoming adversity.

“I was pregnant at the age of 16, so that made me the subject of much local gossip, which hurt to hear as a young person,” said Davis. “But I was determined to prove them wrong and they became the foundation of my motivation to graduate high school, graduate college and find a good career to support my daughter.”

After Davis became a mother as a high school senior in Birmingham, Alabama, she graduated from high school and enrolled into Lawson State Community College. She then looked into finishing her degree at Faulkner University Birmingham, even though there was a 23-year age requirement for the one-year program and she was only 22. 

“Faulkner is a huge part of who I am today,” Davis said. “I was able to plead my case with the administrators because I did not meet the age requirement and was granted admission. Faulkner allowed me to achieve my goal to become a college graduate by age 23. Five years later I enrolled into Birmingham School of Law and the rest is history. I’m forever grateful for all that Faulkner represents in the community as well as the faith community.”

Her village, which included the father of her child and her family, were very supportive as she pursued higher education. She pushed through in order to be a strong example for her daughter, Diamond. 

She walked across Faulkner’s graduation stage in 2003.  At the time, she was working for a health insurance company, which provided tuition reimbursement for her higher education. After she graduated with her degree in Human Resource Management, she applied and received a promotion and began climbing the corporate ladder. 

“You know the best way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans? Well, in 2008, my daughter was watching Legally Blonde and she told me, ‘You should go to law school. You would make a great lawyer,’” Davis said. “I said. ‘No, I’m good.’ Well what my daughter did was planted a seed. I thought and prayed and ended up enrolling in Birmingham School of Law. Three years later, while preparing for the bar exam, the dean told me I did not have what it takes to pass the BAR exam. Well, all that did was make me more determined.”

Again, faced with rejection, Davis used that to motivate her and studied more than ever before. In February 2013 she passed the BAR on her first attempt. She resigned from her position in health insurance after 15 years and started her own law practice, The Davis Law Group, specializing in bankruptcy and personal injury. She cashed in her retirement and put everything on the line to give her law firm exposure by advertising on the radio, billboards and publications.

Her practice began to thrive. 

Six years later in 2019, she received a phone call from a mentor about an upcoming judicial vacancy and that she should consider running for the position. 

“I told him no,” Davis said. “I came up with all sorts of excuses. I had just written a book, Hearsay about using faith and tenacity to overcome obstacles and here I was afraid to run for office. Again, I gave it some thought and prayer and decided to trust God.  The most humbling decision I’ve ever made was placing my name on a ballot and hoping the people would support my decision. It was clean race, I had so much fun. It was actually 10 days before the pandemic and in 2020 I was victorious for the primary election.”

Although Davis could not campaign much for November’s general election, she got out there as much as she could and on the morning of the election, her opponent conceded the race.

“It was a great transition, my opponent was extremely gracious,” Davis said. “I have my daughter and my mentor to thank for where I am today.”

She took the bench for the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Alabama in January 2021 and has served as judge for two years of her six-year term.

“I am enjoying where God has placed me and I feel so fulfilled in my hometown,” Davis said. “I take pride in my journey and am grateful for what Faulkner helped me to accomplish and for all the people who helped support me along the way. I want to share that with others and hopefully they can be inspired by it.”

Davis’ daughter Diamond is now 25. She graduated from Tuskegee University in political science and is thriving in the fashion industry at Coach’s corporate office in New York.