JSL Alumni Receive Judicial Appointments in the Wiregrass Area
Since 1962, approximately eighty JSL alumni have made their careers in Houston, Henry, Dale and Geneva counties – better known as the Wiregrass area. From clerkships in the Southern District to solo practices to public interest work, JSL alumni have made their mark in that legal community. In the last four months alone, two JSL alumni have been appointed to the bench in the Wiregrass area. These alumni join three other JSL alumni who currently serve as judges in the area.
Chris Kaminski (JSL ’09) is the most recently appointed JSL graduate to the Wiregrass area bench. In May 2015, Judge Kaminski was appointed by Governor Robert Bentley to serve as the Coffee County district court judge. Judge Kaminski replaced Judge Paul Sherling, who retired to work for his family’s car business in Enterprise. Judge Kaminski will serve the remainder of Sherling’s term, which expires in January 2017. He plans to run for the position in the next election.
Judge Kaminski graduated from Enterprise High School in 2002, and received a degree in business administration and a minor in computer science from the University of Alabama. He pursued his legal career at Jones School of Law.
“I knew from an early age that I wanted to pursue a career in the law,” said Judge Kaminski. “Through the co-op program at my high school, I was able to work with a circuit court judge, and that experience solidified my desire to become an attorney.”
Judge Kaminski spent his first two years of law school living in Montgomery. The summer before his third year, he married, and he and his wife moved back to their hometown of Enterprise. During his last year of law school, he commuted from Enterprise while working for the district attorney’s office. Despite the challenge of a busy schedule, Judge Kaminski completed his degree in 2009.
“I am honored to serve the people of Coffee County as their district court judge,” said Judge Kaminski. “Our office stays busy because of all the kinds of cases we handle. But the work is enjoyable and rewarding, and it is nice to be able to make a positive impact in my community.”
In March 2015, Kimberly Clark (JSL ’96) was appointed by Governor Bentley as Circuit Judge for Dale and Geneva Counties. Judge Clark replaced Judge Kenneth Quattlebaum, and will run for election in 2016.
Judge Clark grew up in Madrid, Alabama, and graduated from Rehobeth High School. It was during her high school years that Judge Clark decided to pursue a legal career. Working summers in the law office of her cousin, she developed a passion for the law and for helping others.
After receiving a double major in English and History from her undergraduate alma mater, Troy University, Judge Clark enrolled in Jones School of Law. She worked during the day for Mike Connaway, who now serves as Circuit Judge for Houston County. After working through lunch, Judge Clark would leave Dothan around 4:00 p.m. and drive to JSL. She would finish class at 10:00 p.m. and begin her trek home. Arriving home around midnight, Judge Clark would study for a several hours before going to bed, and would be back at work by 8:00 a.m. Despite her demanding schedule, she graduated early, and was admitted to the Alabama Bar in April 1997.
“If I wanted to become an attorney,” said Judge Clark, “I knew that I would have to make sacrifices in order to achieve my dream. Jones School of Law provided me – and other students who had to work their way through law school – with the opportunity to make that dream a reality.”
Judge Clark is the first female to serve as a judge for the 33rd Judicial Circuit. Despite this landmark achievement, Judge Clark does not consider herself a trailblazer. “We often hear about the ‘glass ceiling’ that prevents women from achieving workplace equality,” said Judge Clark. “I don’t believe there is such a thing. Instead, I think the key to attaining a goal in life is dedication and perseverance.”
It is clear that Judge Clark is the definition of those qualities.
“I am truly thankful to Governor Robert Bentley for this appointment,” said Judge Clark, “and I look forward to serving the people of Dale and Geneva counties.”
Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law congratulates Judge Clark and Judge Kaminski on their recent achievements in their legal careers.