Outstanding Judge of the Year Award

Since 1998, the NCAWA Judicial Division has periodically presented the Outstanding Judge of the Year Award to North Carolina judges who have contributed to the judiciary, NCAWA, and the community. 

2022 Outstanding Judge of the Year Award Winners


Justice Robin E. Hudson, Supreme Court of North Carolina


Judge Robin Hudson

 Robin E. Hudson is a Georgia native but has lived in North Carolina since her early teens. She has been serving on the Supreme Court of North Carolina since January 2007 and her current term runs through 2022. Previously, she served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from January 2001 through December 2006. She is the first woman in North Carolina elected to either appellate court without having been appointed first.

Justice Hudson graduated from Page High School in Greensboro, then Yale University in 1973, and the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1976. She practiced law out of Raleigh and Durham until her election to the Court of Appeals. Her practice concentrated on workers’ compensation and civil and criminal litigation and included numerous appeals.

Justice Hudson was a member of the steering committee that founded the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys in 1978 and has been a member of the organization ever since. She has served on the Family Court Advisory Committee since 2001. She has been a member of the National Association of Women Judges since 2003; since 2015 she has served as national co-chair of its Judicial Independence Committee, which oversees the award-winning “Informed Voters Project (IVP)”.

She is married and has two grown children, two beautiful granddaughters, and two handsome grandsons. 


Judge Carla Archie, Senior Resident Superior Court

Judge Archie

Judge Archie graduated summa cum laude from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. She received her Juris Doctor from the College of William and Mary Law School, where she was president of William and Mary’s Black Law Student Association and spearheaded establishment of the Oliver Hill Scholarship which is now endowed to support minority law students at William and Mary. Judge Archie also holds a Master of Laws degree in judicial studies from Duke University.

Judge Archie started her legal career as a prosecutor in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was promoted to Chief Assistant District Attorney in charge of felony drug prosecutions. She then transitioned into commercial litigation as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Wachovia Corporation. She went on to serve as Deputy Executive Director and the first General Counsel of the North Carolina Education Lottery. Judge Archie then returned to her commercial litigation practice as Senior Counsel for Wells Fargo & Company, where she co-chaired the law department’s diversity and inclusion committee.

In 2014, Judge Archie was elected to serve as a Resident Superior Court Judge for the 26th Judicial District of North Carolina. Over the years, she has been very active in the community as a member of the Junior League of Charlotte, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, The Links, Incorporated, and Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. She is a past president of the Mecklenburg County Bar and has served on the board of directors and in various leadership roles with the Charlotte Women’s Bar, the John S. Leary Association of Black Lawyers, the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, the Triangle Urban League, and the STARS Math and English Academy.

Judge Archie has spent her life as a servant leader and path builder. She has been recognized as an outstanding alumna of Hampton University, as a Citizen Lawyer by William and Mary Law School, as a Julius Chambers Diversity Champion by the Mecklenburg County Bar, and as one of Charlotte’s 50 most influential women by the Mecklenburg Times. When asked about this new leadership role, Judge Archie said, “I am honored to serve as the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge for the 26th Judicial District. I remain committed to working collaboratively with the community and our justice partners to ensure an accessible, efficient, and equitable court system in Mecklenburg County.” 


Judge Rickye McKoy-Mitchell

 Judge McKoy-Mitchell is a double Tarheel having received both her Bachelor of Arts Degree and Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. She was a James M. Johnston Scholar and a member of the Order of the Valkyries. She is a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, among the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. At the time that Judge McKoy-Mitchell was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 1980 as an undergraduate, she was and still is one of the youngest persons ever to have received the award.

Mecklenburg County’s longest-serving District Court Judge, she has been a District Court Judge in the 26th Judicial District for almost 24 years. Judge McKoy-Mitchell has presided in every District Court and currently is the Child Support Lead Judge; School Justice Partnership Co-Chair; Mayor’s Youth Employment Advisory Board Member; Race Matters for Juvenile Justice Leadership Team Member and Chair of its Youth Initiative; and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ Domestic Violence Institutes Faculty. Prior to becoming a Judge, Judge McKoy-Mitchell practiced in both the criminal and civil areas of law at both the state and federal court levels. She was a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow/Attorney with Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont, Attorney Advisor with the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Social Security Administration, Senior Trial Attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Assistant District Attorney with the 26th Prosecutorial District.

Judge McKoy-Mitchell has long been involved in and recognized for not only her outstanding Judicial Leadership, but also her exceptional community service. As such, she was honored with the Junior League of Charlotte’s Outstanding Leadership Award; Democratic Women of Mecklenburg County’s Doris Cromartie Lifetime Achievement Award; Mecklenburg Times’ 50 Most Influential Women; Lawyers Weekly Leaders in the Law and Women of Justice Recipient for her outstanding leadership and professionalism (only recipient of all three awards consecutively); the Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion Award from the Mecklenburg County Bar which recognizes an individual who embodies high ethical standards, unquestioned integrity, consistent competence and who champions diversity in the legal profession; Delta of the Year with May Week Excellence in Youth being named in her honor; Citizen Lawyer of the Year by the North Carolina Bar Association; Outstanding Jurist award by the North Carolina Advocates of Justice; Pinnacle Award of the BPC; Outstanding Alumni of the Year by the Alumni Association of UNC-Chapel School of Law Alumni Board; UNC-CH Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Black Alumnus; and the Martin Luther King Grassroots Change Agent award, among many others.



 Outstanding Judge of the Year Recipients

  • 2021  Chief Judge Donna Stroud, Judge Phyllis Gorham, Judge Debra Sasser
  • 2019  Justice Cheri Beasley
  • 2018  Judge Yvonne Mims Evans, Judge Rebecca Thorne Tin
  • 2017  Judge Linda Stephens
  • 2016  Judge Marcia Moray
  • 2014  Judge Wanda Bryant
  • 2008  Judge Kimberly Taylor
  • 2007  Judge Shelly Holt
  • 2006  Judge Allyson K. Duncan
  • 2005  Judge Jane V. Harper
  • 2004  Judge Joyce (Joy) Hamilton
  • 2002  Justice Sarah Parker
  • 2000  Judge A. Elizabeth Keever
  • 1999  Judge Linda M. McGee
  • 1998  Judge Shirley L. Fulton