July 31, 2019 | Uncategorized

How She Did It: Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson’s Path to Leadership


Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson discusses her unconventional path to becoming Leon County Judge in Tallahassee, Florida.

In this special edition of the Florida Bar Podcast recorded at the Annual Convention in June, hosts Christine Bilbrey and Karla Eckardt sit down with Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson to hear about her personal journey in the legal profession. She describes the path she took to eventually become Leon County Judge and shares valuable wisdom for lawyers on breaking through self-imposed barriers and creating personal meaning in the practice of law.

Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson has served as a Leon County Judge in Tallahassee, Florida since 2008. Prior to her election, she spent the majority of her career representing teachers and university faculty as in-house counsel with the Florida Education Association and as adjunct faculty at Barry University’s Tallahassee campus. She has distinguished herself as a first in many categories, including as the first Ethiopian-American judge in the United States and the first African-American elected president of the Tallahassee Women Lawyers and the Tallahassee Bar Association. She is also a former president of the William H. Stafford American Inn of Court. The Conference of County Court Judges of Florida awarded her the Distinguished Leadership Award in 2016, and she was also the recipient of the Florida Bar’s 2019 Distinguished Judicial Service Award.


The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by The Florida Bar, their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, or representatives. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.