From the Beginning
Raised in the tobacco fields of Warren County by a single mother of four, I learned, at an early age, the importance of hard work. I watched my mother struggle to provide for her four children while instilling in us the importance of having faith, staying focused, and finishing what you start.
After graduating from high school, I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where I double majored in English and Economics. After finishing in just over three years, I attended North Carolina Central University School of Law, often working three to four jobs to pay my way through.
A Lifetime of Service
Upon graduating from law school, I joined the United States Navy as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) where I represented defendants who were charged with various criminal and military offenses or who were being administratively processed out of the military. I also provided legal advice to servicemembers on various matters involving contracts, family law, and real estate. To assist family members who remained behind, I prepared numerous powers of attorney and wills for servicemembers getting underway on lengthy deployments.
After my military service to my country, I briefly joined my husband in private practice before serving as an Assistant District Attorney. I prosecuted violent and property crimes, drug offenses, and child abuse. As a prosecutor, I understood the importance of balancing and protecting the rights of victims and the rights of defendants.
I subsequently joined the Office of the Federal Public Defender where I traveled extensively across eastern North Carolina representing defendants charged with various offenses, to include financial crimes, drug offenses, and violent felonies. My experience in federal court reinforced the importance of preparation, time management, and tenacity.
Experience that matters
In 2012, I was elected to serve as a Resident Superior Court Judge for Cumberland County. I believe my diverse background as a JAG officer, Assistant District Attorney, and Assistant Federal Public Defender amply equipped me to assume my sobering responsibilities as a judge. I fully recognized the tremendous impact my decisions could have on people’s lives. Then and now, I approach cases carefully and thoughtfully with the resolve to render a fair and equitable decision for all concerned.
I understand those who appear before me are counting on me to listen and to treat them with dignity and respect; they deserve no less. Respect must go both ways. As a result of my conviction, I believe in being courteous, patient, and attentive to all, whether they are plaintiffs, defendants, victims, or attorneys. When they leave my courtroom, I want them to feel like they were heard and that my decision was just and fair, whether they won or lost.
My responsibilities to this State do not end once I step off the bench, but continue to those outside of the walls of our courthouses. I am active in the community and in my church where I work with the youth and teach Sunday school. Many times, my husband and I have opened our home to youth seeking refuge from difficult living situations. We have also served many years as licensed foster parents.
Married 36 years, my husband, Attorney Glenn Adams, and I are the proud parents of four children, Rachel, Daniel, Leah, and Joshua.