Chief Justice Sarah Parker
2009 Ayscue Professionalism Award Winner
Sarah Parker received her bachelor of arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and after a two-year stint serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in Ankara, Turkey, she returned to Chapel Hill to earn her juris doctor. After working as an attorney in private practice for 15 years, she was appointed to the N.C. Court of Appeals in 1984. She served there until 1993, when she was elected to the N.C. Supreme Court. She was appointed to her current position of Chief Justice in 2006.
Justice Parker has tirelessly served the legal profession with her involvement with a variety of organizations, including the N.C. Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Wake County Bar Association, the Mecklenburg County Bar, the N.C. Association of Women Attorneys, and the National Association of Women Judges. She also serves on the Governor's Crime Commission, the N.C. Equal Access to Justice Commission, and the State Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
She has also been very active in the community, serving as an active member of the Women's Forum of N.C., the N.C. International Women's Forum, and the Woman's Club of Raleigh. Justice Parker is a former member of the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Visitors as well as the former director of the Charlotte YWCA.
Among Justice Parker's many public service awards are the N.C. Women Attorneys Association's Gwyneth B. Davis Public Service Award, the Distinguished Woman of N.C. Award, and the NC Association of Black County Officials Humanitarian Award. She has also been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Queens University of Charlotte and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Pfeiffer University.