GAWL Members on the Run

GAWL Member Candidates in the State Bar Board Election

Voting Period: March 26, 2018 to April 27, 2018

Joyce Gist Lewis, State Bar Board of Governors Atlanta Circuit Post 12

Joyce is the managing partner of Shingler Lewis LLC and has practiced law in Atlanta since 1999. She has served as plaintiff's and defense counsel in litigation in state and federal courts throughout Georgia. Joyce has previously served as Chair of the Bar’s Statewide Judicial Evaluation Committee and Co-Chair of the Committee to Promote Inclusion in the Profession. She is the President of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta and a past President of the Atlanta Chapter of GAWL. Joyce is Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated, and has been named to Georgia Super Lawyers Top 100 Attorneys and Top 50 Women Attorneys multiple times.

GAWL Member Candidates in the Georgia General Election

Election Day: May 22, 2018
Early voting begins: April 30, 2018

Veronica Cope, Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge

Veronica Cope, current GAWL board member and Past President of the GAWL Foundation, is running for Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge.  A graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her undergraduate and law degrees, Veronica has practiced law in the metropolitan Atlanta area since 2001.  Veronica's goals for the court include utilizing technology to increase efficiency, expanding accessibility to accountability courts to reduce recidivism, and taking a wholistic approach to working with families and children navigating the judicial system.  For more information, please visit  The election will be held on May 22, 2018. 



LaTisha Dear-Jackson, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge

Municipal Court Judge LaTisha Dear-Jackson is a judge in the city of Stone Mountain Municipal Court. In 2008, LaTisha made history by becoming the first female and youngest judge to serve as a Municipal Court Judge in the City of Stone Mountain. In 2012, she became the first female Municipal Court Judge in the City of Lithonia, where she served as Chief. Judge Dear-Jackson also sits Pro Hac Vice in the Municipal Court of East Point and by designation in the State Courts of DeKalb County. Presently, she is the President for the Georgia Council of Municipal Court Judges.



Zahra Karinshak, State Senate District 48

Zahra Karinshak is running for Senate District 48, which includes Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Suwanee, Peachtree Corners, Duluth, Norcross, Lawrenceville, and Berkeley Lake. This is an open seat for November 2018. As a military veteran (US Air Force Academy graduate), former federal prosecutor, and business owner, Zahra is a bold leader who will work collaboratively to move Georgia forward. More information at




Judge Cassandra Kirk, Fulton County Chief Magistrate Judge

Cassandra is in a contested election to become the FIRST elected Chief Magistrate Judge in Fulton County. She is a long time member of GAWL, a 1999 Leadership Academy graduate and a two-time Committee Star Awardee. Under her leadership, Fulton Magistrate Court cleared case backlogs, implemented procedures to efficiently manage high volume dockets and became more user friendly. As a Juvenile Court Judge, she spearheaded the creation of Fulton's first Juvenile Drug Court. Her experience includes service as a Jurist, Prosecutor, Civil and Criminal Defense Attorney, Associate SAAG, Child Advocate Attorney, and Director of Legal Services.




Christina J. Peterson, Douglas County Solicitor General

Christina J. Peterson has dedicated her life to public service. She is an experienced Douglas County prosecutor who assisted in creating the county’s first felony drug court and created its first felony pretrial diversion program. She’s committed to serving her community as a foster parent and volunteers her time speaking to youth, advocating for her community and serving underprivileged families. Peterson serves as Vice President of the Adoptive and Foster Parent Association of Georgia. She’s a woman of character and believes that in order to make our streets safe; we must serve and touch our communities. For more information,



Fani Willis, Fulton County Superior Court Judge

Fani Willis graduated from Howard University 1992 and Emory University School of Law 1996.   Willis’ first years of practicing law were in the private sector. In 2001, she began work as an assistant district attorney.  2004-2012 she served the Major Case and Cold Case Divisions. In 2012, she was promoted to Deputy District Attorney supervising 25 attorneys. Willis’ career has been covered by national media.  Willis has been recognized as an advocate for children, victims of violent crime, and the LGBT community. Willis recently was honored as 2017-108 Woman of the Year, Law and Justice Award.  




GAWL Members on the Run Policies

GAWL supports all members seeking election to any office by providing a forum for the candidate to advocate for herself or himself based on her or his qualifications and experience, and consistent with GAWL's other policies and procedures.  To be included in GAWL's Members on the Run program, please contact the Public Affairs Committee at