Judge Eileen A.Olds
“CLEO for me was not just foundational for a legal education, but I also met some wonderful people who have become lifelong friends. It is the gift that keeps on giving!”
Known as an “Expectations Advocate” for seeing potential in “the least of these” and for her visionary approach to life, Judge Eileen A. Olds received a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from the University of Virginia; and a Juris Doctorate degree from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. Her exceptional legal career began as a private practitioner, specializing in criminal defense, and domestic relations. She was appointed by two Attorney Generals to represent the State Department of Highways and Transportation; and has served as a Divorce Commissioner.
Judge Olds’ 1995 appointment to the bench was historical in that she became the first female and one of two first African-American judges in the First Judicial District in Virginia.
Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Olds served as President of the South Hampton Roads Bar Association; and on the Virginia Commission for Women and Minorities in the legal profession.
In 2007, Judge Olds was elected President of the American Judges Association (AJA), the largest independent association of judges throughout North America and the first Virginian since its inception in 1959. She has also been on many boards and commissions including the Board of Directors for Joint Action in Community Service (Job Corp, Inc.); the Chief Justice’s Best Practices Institute and the Virginia Task Force on Gangs and Youth Violence. In 2000, she implemented what continues to be a tremendously successful Truancy Court in addition to her traditional court duties.
Judge Olds’ other civic and professional affiliations include: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Links, Inc. and the Girl Friends, Inc. She is co-founder of the Friends of Hampton Roads, Inc., a founder of the Virginia Coalition of 100 Black Women, and a founder of the Williamsburg, VA Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. A member of numerous state and national bar and judicial organizations she currently serves on the Executive Board of the National Bar Association (NBA) Judicial Council, and on the Executive Committee of the District Court Judges in Virginia.
Judge Olds is the recipient of many awards and citations from distinguished organizations including Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Delta Kappa, and Zeta Phi Beta Sororities; the United Negro College Fund, the Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA), the Miss America Pageant, Daughters of Isis, as well as from Tidewater Community College; the City of Chesapeake; National Association of Women Judges; Thurgood Marshall Award, NBA, and has been designated as a Tazwell-Taylor Juris-in-Residence at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary.
Featured in Ebony, Port Folio, Distinction, University of Virginia, William and Mary, and Court Review magazines, and quoted in numerous periodicals including the Virginian Pilot and the New York Times, Judge Olds currently presides as a Judge of the Chesapeake (VA) Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, and is the Author of “Twin Expectations: raising the bar, raising expectations, raising children!” released December, 2012.