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Pamela R. Goodwine, Fayette Circuit Court Judge

Pamela R. Goodwine became the first African-American female judge in Fayette County in 1999.

Born in 1960, Goodwine grew up in Youngstown, OH and as a child dreamed of becoming a judge someday. In 1979, at age 19, she moved to Lexington to begin work as a court reporter. But before she could pursue her dream, she had to overcome family tragedy and a health crisis. Her mother was killed by a close relative a few months after the move to Lexington, and Goodwine herself battled life-threatening Crohn’s disease, a painful digestive disorder. After surgeries and extensive rehabilitation, she recovered and enrolled at the University of Kentucky, earning a bachelor’s degree in management and then a law degree.

At Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs’ Lexington office, Goodwine focused her legal career on labor and employment law, including sexual harassment claims and policies. She was appointed a Fayette Circuit Court Judge in 1999, then won election to complete the unexpired term.

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  • Pamela R. Goodwine (#315)

    Fayette Circuit Court Judge Pamela R. Goodwine, who in 1999 became the first African-American female judge in Fayette County, discusses her family background, her battle with Crohn’s disease, and her legal career.