Alabama State Bar
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Annie Lola Price (1903-1972)
Annie Lola Price was the first woman to serve on an appellate court in Alabama. Her years of service were 1951 to 1972. She served on the Alabama Court of Appeals and became its presiding judge. And when the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals was established in 1969, she became its first presiding judge.

Judge Price was born in Cullman and attended Athens College. She worked in a law office in Cullman as a secretary and after “reading the law:’ she passed the Alabama Bar Exam in 1928, becoming one of the state’s first women lawyers.

Governor “Big Jim” Folsom appointed Annie Lola Price to serve as his legal advisor in 1950. She was the first female legal advisor to serve a governor in Alabama. In 1951, Governor Folsom appointed his legal advisor to the court of appeals. The appointment was controversial at the time, and she declined to have a public investiture ceremony. Instead, she had a private ceremony where she was sworn in by her friend, Secretary of State Mable Amos, in her office. However, the voters of Alabama recognized the ability of Annie Lola Price and elected her to judicial office in 1952, 1958, 1964 and 1970.

The interesting anomaly about Judge Price was that at one time she was the highest ranking female appellate court judge—a presiding appellate court judge—in this country. However, her service predated the period of time when women were allowed to sit on juries in Alabama. For the first 15 years of her service, she reviewed lower court decisions but was not eligible to serve on the juries making those decisions.

Annie Lola Price served with great distinction as an appellate judge for 21 years until her death in 1972. At her memorial service, Nina Miglionico stated, “Women will remember most her quietness, her dignity; I never once heard her say an unkind thing.” Judge Price was a pioneer and a role model for women lawyers in Alabama and she expanded options for women in the legal profession. She has also been inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame.

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