News Post

Carole Smitherman Honored with Maude McLure Kelly Award

Judge Carole Smitherman Honored with Maud McLure Kelly Award

MIRIMAR BEACH, Fla. and MONTGOMERY, Ala.—The Alabama State Bar Women’s Section has awarded Judge Carole Smitherman with the 2022 Maud McLure Kelly Award.

Smitherman was presented with the award at the 145th Annual Meeting of the Alabama State Bar on June 25, 2022, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach, Fla. Smitherman was celebrated for the many ways she has impacted her community and profession.

Smitherman is a graduate of Miles Law School, where she was number one in her class and the only female. She currently serves as Circuit Judge, Civil Division of Jefferson County and is chairman of the Judicial Nominating Committee

Alabama State Bar Women’s Section Chair, Sherrie Phillips, said, “The Alabama State Bar is proud to award Judge Smitherman with the Maud McLure Kelly Award. She exemplifies a dedication to the rule of law, and we are grateful for the wisdom, fairness and passion she brings to the bench.”

Smitherman has served in all three branches of government, all many “firsts” in her resume. She was the first black woman Deputy District Attorney for the State of Alabama; first woman Judge in  the City of Birmingham; first black woman Circuit Judge  in  the  State  of  Alabama;  first  woman Mayor,  City  of  Birmingham;  first  black  woman President, Birmingham City Council, where she was also Chairman of Finance Committee. She established the first victim’s office in the State of Alabama.

“Judge Smitherman is very deserving of this award,” Alabama State Bar Executive Director, Terri Lovell, said. “We have all benefited from her contributions to the administration of justice in Alabama”


The Alabama State Bar (ASB) is the official licensing and regulatory organization of lawyers in Alabama. Created in 1879, the Alabama State Bar became an integrated bar in 1923 by an act of the legislature. Since then, ASB programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system. It is dedicated to promoting the professional responsibility and competence of its members, improving the administration of justice and increasing the public understanding of and respect for the law.

View other award recipients here.


Melissa Warnke
Director of Communications
Alabama State Bar
(334) 517-2218