Judge Sharon Wilson first black, female chief judge in Calcasieu - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Judge Sharon Wilson first black, female chief judge in Calcasieu

Judge Sharon Darville Wilson is making local history as the first black, female chief judge for the 14th Judicial District in Calcasieu Parish

However, she doesn't think of herself that way.

"I am honored to serve and I am aware of the adversity faced by many, for me to have the ability to serve, but once I started serving, I'm serving and I love serving the people of Calcasieu," she said.

She hopes that young people who see her will realize they can do anything they set their minds to.

"I say to my children that they can do anything and to my daughter especially, that she can become president, with the knowledge of knowing that is actually a realistic possibility.  So, when I sit here as an African American woman serving in the justice system,  it says to a little girl that that's a realistic possibility.  It's not a pipe dream.  It can actually happen," said Wilson.

As chief she wants to improve efficiency in the court system.

"Everyone deserves an opportunity to have their case heard fairly and in a timely fashion," she said.

Wilson herself was inspired by various people, including the late Thurgood Marshall, a sketch of whom hangs in her office:

"He was the first African American person to serve on the United States Supreme Court.  But prior to that he was a lawyer who used the court system to achieve equality, justice for people who look like me. He was lead counsel on Brown vs. the Board of Education.  He often said that he saw the law as a weapon, a weapon by which justice could legally be obtained for all people," she said.

And she says, he's a reminder of why she chose a path to achieve justice:

"Justice really should be blind, lawsuits should be people coming of equal footing whether they're a corporation, whether they're wealthy, whether they are poor, working class, they're equal in the eyes of the law.  Thurgood Marshall stood for that principle and I hope that at the end of my career, somebody can say the same thing about me," she said.

Judge Lilyn Cutrer was the first woman chosen as chief judge.  The late Judge Al Gray was the first black man to become chief judge.

Chief Judge Wilson took the oath of office in April 2014.

To hear more of our interview with Chief Judge Wilson log onto the KPLC mobile app or kplctv dot com.

Copyright 2018 KPLC All rights reserved

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