Speaker Bio's picture
The Honorable Tanya Walton Pratt
United States District Court Judge, Southern District of Indiana

On June 15, 2010, newspaper headlines across Indiana read “Judge Makes History.” Judge Tanya Walton Pratt had just been sworn in as the first African American federal judge in Indiana’s history. Nominated by President Obama, Pratt was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.

Judge Pratt began her legal career in private practice with her father, the late Charles A. Walton.  She served as a contract county public defender and as master commissioner in the Marion Superior Court Criminal Division.  She was elected to the Marion Superior Court in November 1996, 2002 and 2008 and served as presiding judge of Criminal Division One and later the Probate Division.

A member of numerous bar associations and civic and community boards, Judge Pratt also serves on the judicial conference of the United States Committee on Conduct.  Judge Pratt is active in her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and in several education-focused boards and committees, including the United Negro College Fund Leadership Council and the Chicago-based Just The Beginning Foundation. 

Judge Pratt received her bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and her law degree from Howard University School of Law.