Clayton County judge 'humbled' by recognition

Clayton County Chief Magistrate Daphne Walker said she is "humbled" by recent accolades given her by a statewide magazine, and an Atlanta-based Who's Who list.

Walker, 39, is serving her second term as Chief Judge of Magistrate Court. She, and 39 other Georgians, were honored as Georgia Trend Magazine's 15th annual "40 Under 40."

Walker was one of four of those 40 chosen to grace the cover of the October issue.

She was also recognized, Wednesday night, at a reception for the unveiling of the 13th edition of Who's Who in Black Atlanta.

"I am humbled by the recognition, especially by the Georgia Trend Magazine, to be named one of 40 in the entire state of Georgia," she said. "I appreciate the recognition of people in government, who try to make a difference in the community where they work."

Noting that "youth is not always recognized," Walker said it is gratifying to see other people her age interested in making a difference in the world around them.

Walker was chosen for the magazine's annual distinction because of her work with Girls Inc., of Greater Atlanta Inc., and Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. But Walker first made a name for herself while working in the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, prosecuting domestic violence cases.

Her attention later turned to child prostitution and human trafficking.

"The single best work I've ever done was fighting child prostitution and human trafficking," she said. "We worked hard to change laws in that area. It's refreshing to see where it's progressed; that it's still relevant."

Walker chairs the statewide Judicial Council Task Force on Domestic Violence Courts, and is a board member with Girls Inc. She was honored by Who's Who for her accomplishments as the first black elected to the office of Clayton County Chief Magistrate. She took office in January 2005, and ran unopposed for a second term in 2008. For that honor, she thanks the voters of Clayton County.

"I am grateful for the confidence shown by voters, who have given me the opportunity to serve," she said.

Who's Who in Black Atlanta was founded in 1989 to highlight the positive achievements of blacks, and to also serve as a resource and networking guide for the community.

Walker graduated magna cum laude from Spelman College, with a B.A. in English and a minor in economics. She attended law school at Emory University School of Law on a full merit scholarship. After passing the bar, Walker became the first black assistant district attorney in the Houston Judicial Circuit in Perry, Ga., and joined the Fulton office as a senior prosecutor assigned to the trial division, and later to the crimes against women and children unit.

In addition to her duties on the bench, Walker teaches at Clayton State University and has served as an attorney coach for the Riverdale High School Mock Trial Team for seven years.