Judge Helen Shores Lee, the first African America female elected to the Jefferson County Circuit Court, died today. She was 77.
The daughter of famed civil rights attorney Arthur Shores, Helen Shores Lee was appointed to the bench in 2003, and elected to her first full term in 2004.
Her colleague, Judge Carole Smitherman says Lee will be remembered for her equity and fairness.
“She could look at the case globally and see both sides before making a decision, and that’s the mark of a good judge,” Smitherman says.
Lee was just as comfortable in the courtroom as she was at courtside, cheering for her grandchildren. Judge Smitherman recalls Lee’s words of commitment to family.
She would say, “ ‘I am working to put grandchildren through college. I’m not going to stop working till I get them to where they need to be.That was just Helen. She loved everyone. She really loved her children,’ “ Smitherman said.
Lee divided her time with organizations, such as Leadership Birmingham, the American Red Cross and the Camp Fire Inc. Community service, she said, was one of the most rewarding experiences in life.