Judge Susan H. Black

2022 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Eleventh Circuit

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA–Susan H. Black has been selected to receive the prestigious 2022 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Eleventh Circuit. Chief Judge William H. Pryor Jr. will present the award to Black at the Judicial Conference for the Eleventh Circuit on May 5 in Atlanta.

Black has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit since 1992, when President George H.W. Bush appointed her. Before that, she had been a U.S. district judge in the Middle District of Florida since President Jimmy Carter appointed her in 1979. She served as chief judge of the Middle District of Florida from 1990 until her appointment to the Eleventh Circuit. She began her judicial career as a judge in Florida’s Duval County Court between 1973 and 1975 and as a state circuit judge in Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit from 1975 to 1979. Black assumed senior status in 2011.

Black has also been active in training lawyers and judges throughout her career. She has taught at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and spent more than 15 years teaching federal appellate practice at Duke University School of Law. As a state judge, Black was dean of the College for New Florida Circuit and County Court Judges and chaired the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges’ Education Committee. She was also a faculty member of the National Judicial College.

But “what makes Judge Black an especially deserving recipient of this award is her long devotion to the American Inns of Court,” writes Chief Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of the Eleventh Circuit, who seconded Circuit Judge Joel F. Dubina’s nomination of Black for the award. “She has led and supported the Inns of Court movement from the beginning.” Black served on the founding board of trustees of the American Inns of Court Foundation from 1985 to 1991. She was also a founding member of the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court and served as its first president and again from 1991 to 1992.

Black earned an undergraduate degree with honors from Florida State University in 1964. She went on to earn a law degree from what is now known as the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law in 1967 and an LLM degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1984.