Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Justice Ann Lamar named Woman of the Year

May 7, 2015

Supreme Court Justice Ann H. Lamar of Senatobia today was named Woman of the Year in the legal and judicial field. The Commission on the Status of Women announced awards during a luncheon in Jackson.

Justice Ann Lamar

Honorees in other fields included former First Lady Elise Winter, Rep. Alyce Clarke, Jackson State University President Dr. Carolyn W. Meyers, State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier, blues singer Dorothy Moore, businesswoman Toni Cooley and Sergeant Major Alecia Gates.

“The Woman of the Year awards are a chance to congratulate Mississippians who often broke barriers to become highly successful in their fields,” said chairwoman Gloria Williamson. “I hope young women across our state will look to these ladies as mentors and role models.”

Justice Lamar said, “It’s an honor to be nominated with very interesting and successful women. It was fun to be with those women in other fields in addition to law. The Commission does a good job of highlighting women and their unique careers. A lot of good mentors and role models were among those nominees today.

“It’s an interesting juggling act to handle home and grandchildren and responsibilities there and the ongoing responsibilities here” at the Supreme Court, Justice Lamar said. She spends the week working in Jackson, and goes home to Senatobia on weekends.

Other nominees from the legal and judicial field were Biloxi attorney Clare Sekul Hornsby, who has been a lawyer for 70 years, and Mississippi College School of Law Dean Wendy Scott.

Others named as Women of the Year in their respective fields include: community service, former First Lady Elise Winter; arts and entertainment, blues singer Dorothy Moore of Jackson; business, Toni Cooley, founder and president of Systems Companies of Madison, a supplier to the Nissan plant; education, Jackson State University President Dr. Carolyn W. Meyers; medical and health, State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier, who previously served as state epidemiologist; military and law enforcement, Mississippi Army National Guard Sergeant Major Alecia Gates, who is the first African-American woman promoted to her current rank; and politics and government, Rep. Alyce Clarke of Jackson, the first African-American woman elected to the Legislature and currently the longest serving woman legislator.

Former Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck was named Ambassador by the Commission on the Status of Women. The title is given to women who successfully share Mississippi's story both around the state and the country. Star athlete Victoria Vivians was named Young Woman of the Year for her successes on and off the Mississippi State University basketball court.

Justice Lamar is the third woman to serve on the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Former Gov. Haley Barbour appointed her on May 21, 2007, to the vacancy. She was elected to an eight-year term in November 2008.

Justice Lamar served as a Circuit Court Judge in the 17th Circuit Court District from November 2001 until May 2007. She also presided over the 17th Circuit Drug Court, supervising program participants in four of the five counties. She served as District Attorney in the 17th district from January 2000 until November 2001.Before her election as District Attorney, she served nine years as an assistant district attorney and eight years in the private practice of law. Upon graduation from law school in 1982, Justice Lamar began practicing law with her husband, John Lamar, in Senatobia.

Justice Lamar attended Northwest Mississippi Junior College and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Delta State University. She worked as a court reporter before earning her law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Justice Lamar is chair of the Supreme Court Criminal Rules Committee and chair of the Board of Governors of the Mississippi Judicial College. She was co-chair of the Commission for the Study of Domestic Abuse Proceedings. As a circuit judge, she served the Conference of Circuit Court Judges as Chair in 2006-2007, vice-chair in 2005-2006, and treasurer for three years. She is a member and past president of the William C. Keady American Inns of Court. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Prosecutor's Association.

Justice Lamar was named Citizen of the Year by the Tate County Economic Development Foundation in 2010. She was inducted as a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation in 2011. The Women in the Profession Committee of the Mississippi Bar honored her with the 2012 Susie Blue Buchanan Award for commitment to the advancement of women in the field of law. She received the 2014 Outstanding Woman Lawyer Award from the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association.