The Honorable Gayl Branum Carr
President, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Gayl Y. Branum Carr has been a Judge of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 19th Judicial District since 1994 serving in the Fairfax Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. She was elected Chief Judge in 2004.
Judge Carr grew up in Los Angeles, California. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where she received a Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1984. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Richmond School of Law in 1987.
In 1987, she entered the private practice of law primarily handling both criminal and civil matters in state and federal court. Subsequently she was appointed Assistant Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia, representing the Virginia Department of Corrections and the Virginia Parole Board. In 1991, she was appointed Assistant County Attorney, County of Fairfax. Prior to law school, she was employed with the Virginia Department of Social Services as a Child Welfare Worker.
Judge Carr is President-elect of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), the nation’s oldest judicial membership organization in the country. In 2019, she was elected to the Board of Directors. She has served on various committees of the organization including Diversity, Governance, and Development. She also served as Vice-Chair of the Membership Committee and Chair of the Family Violence and Domestic Relations Advisory Committee among other involvements. She is a Fellow of the Judicial Engagement Network.
In Virginia, she currently serves as a Mentor Judge for newly elected Virginia judges. She is also a certified Coach. Previously, she served as Chair of the Education Committee of the Judicial Conference for District Court Judges and also served on its Executive Committee. Judge Carr has served as a faculty member of the Virginia State Bar, Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course. Currently, she is Chair of the Support Liaison committee of the Virginia Council of Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judges (“the Council”) and previously served as its President. Judge Carr also served on the Advisory Committee of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Court Improvement Committee. She has chaired a number of other committees and has been involved with numerous agencies and organizations at the local, state, and national levels including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the National Association of Women Judges, and the American Bar Association. Judge Carr is a Master, George Mason American Inn of Court, American Inns Of Court. Judge Carr has been active as the Lead Judge for her court’s Dual Status Youth Initiative with the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice. She is also a member of the Healthy Families Fairfax Advisory Council and a Board member of the Advisory Committee of the Fairfax County Stronger Together Supervised Visitation and Exchange Program. Judge Carr has been the Lead Judge of the Fairfax Best Practice Court since 1997.
Judge Carr is active in teaching and training. She currently teaches new Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Judges each year on the subject of child support. She frequently trains and teaches lawyers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement officers, clerks of court, probation officers and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) among others. Judge Carr previously has served as Adjunct Faculty, teaching criminal justice and Forensic Social Work Practice, at George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, and Strayer University.
Judge Carr has received numerous awards and accolades throughout her tenure as a judge. In 2023, she was inducted into the Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame. Prior awards include Judge of the Year, the Ebone Image Award, the Law Service Award: Inspiring the Youth of Fairfax County and induction as an Honorary Member, Chi Chapter, Phi Alpha Honor Society, George Mason University. A more detailed biography is available.
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