Mississippi College

Law Review

Mississippi College Law Review Pays Tribute To Chief Judge Sharion Aycock

Written By: Elissa Furlong

A Special Event 

Mississippi College School of Law will soon pay tribute to a trailblazing alumna: U.S. Chief District Judge Sharion Aycock, who was the first woman confirmed as a United States District Judge in Mississippi, and the first female Chief District Judge in the State. Volume 39, Issue 3 of the Mississippi College Law Review was prepared in celebration of Chief Judge Aycock’s accomplished career, marked by thirteen years of service in the federal judiciary.  On Friday, March 19, 2021, at 5:30 pm, the Review will host an evening in honor of Chief Judge Aycock, and her contribution to the legal profession. 

The publication of Chief Judge Aycock’s tribute edition would not have been possible without the effort of James “Bud” Sheppard, Editor-in-Chief of the Review, who began this project eight months ago.  Bud is grateful to U.S. District Judge Kristi Johnson and Phelps Dunbar Attorney Todd Butler, both of whom he described as “instrumental in the development of this special project.”  He and other Review members look forward to the Reception honoring Chief Judge Aycock, and we invite those interested in attending to email lawreview@mc.edu for the unique Zoom ID.

Background on Chief Judge Aycock

Chief Judge Sharion Aycock credits Dr. Billy J. Eatherly, one of her college professors at Mississippi State University, as the reason she went to law school.  In her own words: “I don’t know what I said or did during class that made him think I would be a good lawyer, but I’m so glad he directed me down that path.” Chief Judge Aycock’s first step down that path, and the beginning of her illustrious career, began at Mississippi College School of Law. At MC Law, she served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, and graduated second in her class.  After practicing law in her hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi for twenty-three years, Chief Judge Aycock spent four years as a Circuit Court Judge for the First Circuit Court of Mississippi, where she was the first female circuit court judge in the district’s history.  In 2007, she became the first female Article III judge in Mississippi, following an appointment by President George W. Bush and a unanimous confirmation by the Senate. Seven years later, she again made history when she became the first female Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.

Mississippi College Law Review is excited to give Judge Aycock the recognition she deserves.  Her career has been successful and inspiring by any standard.  We look forward to recognizing her achievements, and the important and lasting impact that they have had on others.

Edited by: Melanie Mitchell & James “Bud” Sheppard