HARRISBURG (May 9, 2022) — Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge Cheryl Lynne Austin will begin a three-year term as a minority governor on the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Board of Governors at the conclusion of the association’s Annual Meeting, May 13, in Harrisburg.
Judge Austin will be one of two governors on the board representing the interests of minority members of the association.
Long active in the PBA, Judge Austin is a member of the PBA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team, PBA Minority Bar Committee, PBA Commission on Women in the Profession and PBA Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Elected in 2011, Judge Austin was the first female African-American on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. She served a ten-year term on the court. Prior to ascending to the bench, she served as assistant solicitor and assistant district attorney for Montgomery County. She also previously practiced elder law, criminal defense and estate resolution for two years. In addition, she was an adjunct professor at Palmer Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa.
While pursuing her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, Judge Austin was admitted into the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps Program. She served seven years of active duty, attaining the rank of Navy lieutenant. Following her discharge, she served as public school administrator and entered the Navy Reserve in 1988, retiring as a Navy captain in 2004. In 1991, Judge Austin was appointed human resources director for the Ohio Secretary of State while also attending Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, at night.
In the community, Judge Austin was a founding member of Committed Activists Leading Many Society; a board member of the Willow Grove Chapter of NAACP; a trustee for Montgomery County Community College and chair of the college’s Curriculum Committee; a chair of the Montgomery County Commission on Women and Families; a member of the Laurel House Advisory Board; and assistant minister at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
In 2011, Judge Austin was recognized with the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award.
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access of legal services; and serve the lawyer members of the state's largest organized bar association.