Cassandra Kirk is the first Chief Magistrate Judge appointed by Governor Nathan Deal and elected two times by the people to serve Fulton County. Tasked to create Fulton's newly independent Constitutional court, Judge Kirk used her over 27 years of legal experience as a jurist, prosecutor, defense attorney, civil litigator, and administrative director to redesign how the Court serves its community. Over her career, Judge Kirk spearheaded the creation of two accountability courts: Juvenile Drug Court and Misdemeanor Mental Health Court and served as a judge in 3 of the 4 Constitutionally required courts in Georgia. Her mission with Magistrate Court is to increase accessibility and create a Court that Informs, Engages, and Empowers Our Community.
Under her leadership, the Magistrate Court eliminated the Court’s 30,000 small claims case backlog, restructured case calendaring to reduce the time parties spend waiting in court, implemented mandatory civil e-filing, piloted a Misdemeanor Mental Health Court, and created the R.E.A.C.H. Clinic, a self-help Consumer Clinic. The Court was recognized with a Case Clearance Excellence Award for a three-year 254% clearance average and during COVID her team cleared nearly 85% of backlog cases (over 170,000 cases from 2019-2021). Putting people first required substantial changes in how the Court functioned and Judge Kirk strives to tackle each obstacle.
Cassandra supports the community through service to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., North Avenue Presbyterian Church (Elder) and the Boards of Directors of The Atlanta Resource Foundation, EduHousing, the Southern Advisory Committee to Children’s Rights, Chris 180 Advisory Board, and Street Grace, a non-profit aimed at eradicating domestic minor sex trafficking. As a result of her commitment to the community and the legal profession, Judge Kirk received several awards and recognitions for service and leadership, including being named Judge of the Year (Rolling Out Magazine and Women Works Media Group), Magistrate Judge of the Year (Georgia Association of Black County Officials), Humanitarian of the Year (Georgia Council of Magistrate Court Judges), Woman of the Year (Atlanta Business Journal and ACHI Magazine), was honored with the Power of Leadership Award (Black I Am Power and Entertainment Awards), Unsung Heroine Award (Saving Our Children and Families), Women of Strength (The Shaquille Clarke Foundation), and was named one of Atlanta Business Journal’s Top 25 Extraordinary Atlantans, as well as a Georgia Legal Trailblazer (Daily Report). Judge Kirk received her B.A. from Williams College, and her J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law.