by Max Brantley
Tjuana Byrd, a North Little Rock lawyer, says she'll run in 2012 for the juvenile division circuit judgeship in Pulaski County held by the late Melinda Gilbert. Patti James of Little Rock announced for the position earlier. Also, I forgot to mention originally, John Hout of Little Rock.
Byrd's news release follows.
North Little Rock attorney Tjuana Byrd today announced her candidacy for Circuit Judge, Sixth Judicial District, 11th Division. The seat, overseeing juvenile cases, became vacant upon the passing of Judge Melinda Gilbert. Byrd promised to use her experience as an attorney and Special Judge to bring fairness, integrity and compassion to the bench.
“Our next Circuit Judge needs experience working with juveniles both on and off the bench and I have that experience,” said Byrd. “A large part of my practice is working with juveniles and their families, on issues that determine the course of the rest of their life. As a juvenile judge, I’ll treat our young people with care and compassion, but I’ll also require accountability for their actions.”
Byrd is currently in private practice with her own firm in North Little Rock. She began her legal career in the Pulaski County Public Defender’s office, serving there for five years. Byrd is currently the Wrightsville City Attorney, Assistant City Attorney for North Little Rock, Sherwood Public Defender and a Dependency Neglect Attorney ad litem.
Byrd served as Special Judge on dozens of cases in many of Pulaski County Circuit Court Divisions. As a Special Judge, she has rendered decisions on a wide variety of cases, with the majority of them in Juvenile Court.
“As a Special Judge, I have always been fair and impartial when rendering decisions and I will do the same as a Juvenile Circuit Judge,” Byrd remarked. “My passion for working with children gives me valuable knowledge and experience that helps juveniles when they appear before me in court. They understand that I will always be firm but fair, and I’ll do the same once elected Juvenile Circuit Judge.”
In 2007, Byrd served as the first African-American chairperson for the Susan G. Komen Arkansas Race for the Cure, an annual event with more than 45,000 participants. Byrd is active in the community in many other ways. She serves as chairman of the UALR Foundation Fund Board, is a member of the Old State House Museum Associates Board and is President of the Beta Pi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Byrd is also the Curriculum Chairman of Class XXVI of LR Regional Chamber’s Leadership Greater Little Rock and is a past graduate of that course.
“Over the years, I’ve volunteered countless hours to help improve our community because I believe that for those whom much has been given, much is required,” said Byrd. “Serving as your next Juvenile Judge allows me to continue my public service by helping guide and protect our children.”
Byrd is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers, W. Harold Flowers Law Society, University of Arkansas Alumni Association, lifetime member of the UALR Alumni Association and former member of the Central Arkansas Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners.
Tjuana C. Byrd is a graduate of Lonoke High School. She received a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a Juris Doctorate degree from the UALR School of Law. Byrd is an active member of St. Mark Baptist Church where she serves on the Senior Ushers Ministry, Ambassadors for Christ Ministry, third grade Children’s Church teacher and co-director for the Watson Primary Ensemble choir for children ages 3-11.
The Sixth Judicial District, 11th Division covers Pulaski and Perry Counties. The nonpartisan election will be held May 22, 2012.