Tanya Walton Pratt

Tanya Walton Pratt was appointed judge of the United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, on June 15, 2010. Judge Pratt is the first African-American federal judge in Indiana history. She fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge David F. Hamilton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. From 2008 until her appointment to the bench of the District Court, Judge Pratt served as a judge in the Marion Superior Court, Probate Division. She was elected Marion County Superior Court Judge in November 1996, and she served as Presiding Judge of the Superior Court, Criminal Division, from 1997 to 2008. She also served as Master Commissioner for the Marion County Superior Court from 1993 to 1996. Prior to her election as a Marion Superior Court Judge, she was active in private practice as a partner with the law firm of Walton & Pratt, focusing primarily on family law, bankruptcy, and probate law. She also served as a contract county public defender during her years of private practice. Judge Pratt is active in the Indianapolis and Marion County Bar Associations; she has served as past Vice President of the Indianapolis Bar Association and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Marion County Bar Association. She is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association and the National Association of Women Judges. She serves on the Indiana Lawyer Reader Advisory Panel; CLEO Advisory Board; and the American Inn of Court (Master). She has served as faculty for ICLEF’s Annual Practice Skills Summit and frequently serves as a faculty for the Indiana Judicial Conference and the Indianapolis Bar Association. In 2005, she was Chief Justice Randall Shepard’s appointee on the Indiana Sentencing Policy Study Commission. She has served as a member of the Marion Superior Court Executive Committee; member of the House of Delegates for the Indiana Bar Association; and from 2001 to 2007, she served as Chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday Commission in Indiana. In 1981, Judge Pratt received her B.A. from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 1984, she received her J.D. from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.