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Gayl Branum Carr

Judge Gayl CarrThe Honorable Gayl Branum Carr

Board Director, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Judge Gayl Y. Branum Carr has served as a judge for the past 25 years after her appointment to the 19th Judicial District, Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, Commonwealth of Virginia, in 1994. Judge Carr served as Chief Judge from July 2004 through July 2006. Judge Carr presides over cases including child dependency; custody; visitation; child and spousal support; paternity; juvenile delinquency; adult criminal cases; truancy; intimate partner domestic violence cases and other family related matters.

Judge Carr currently serves as Chairperson of the Education Committee of the Judicial Conference of Virginia for District Court Judges (“Judicial Conference of Virginia”). She also serves as a member of the Virginia Department of Education Superintendents/Judges Liaison Committee and as a Mentor judge of the Judicial Conference of Virginia. Judge Carr previously served on the Executive Council of the Judicial Conference of Virginia from 2007-2009.

Judge Carr serves as the Chairperson of the Support Liaison Committee of the Virginia Council of Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judges (“the Council”) and formerly served as President of the Council from 2001-2003. In addition, Judge Carr serves on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Association of District Court Judges.

Judge Carr is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). Judge Carr also is a member of the Family Violence and Domestic Relations Advisory and Diversity committees of the NCJFCJ.

At the local level, Judge Carr has been proud to serve as the Lead Judge of the Fairfax County Best Practice Court, through the Court Improvement Program, which seeks to improve outcomes for children placed in foster care or involved in child protective services. Judge Carr has collaborated with both state and local agencies as well as community partners and attorneys to improve access to the court; provide training to lawyers regarding child dependency factors and dynamics including trauma-informed representation. Judge Carr participated in the Annie E. Casey Agents of Change Leadership program along with representatives of the Fairfax County Department of Family Services. This two-year long leadership program focused on improving outcomes for children placed in foster care and increasing permanency for adolescents placed in foster care. In addition, over the last decade, Judge Carr has served on the Healthy Families Fairfax Advisory Council, a prevention program, which serves families who are at high risk for abuse and neglect by providing home based services; parent education; health information; developmental screenings and referrals for community services. Judge Carr is also a Board Member of the Fairfax County Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center.

In addition, Judge Carr has worked with a number of other boards and organizations including serving as Treasurer of the Virginia Association of Women Judges (VAWJ); Secretary, District 4 of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ); a member of the faculty of the Virginia State Bar, Harry L. Carrico Professionalism course and an Adjunct Faculty Professor at George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College. Judge Carr is also a Master of the George Mason American Inns of Court.

Judge Carr has participated in numerous programs including Continuing Legal Education trainings for lawyers as well as panels and trainings for judges; social workers; probation officers; Court Appointed Special Advocates; teachers and other educators. Judge Carr is a frequent presenter, educator, trainer and facilitator throughout the nation, Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Carr served as an Assistant County Attorney for Fairfax County. Judge Carr has also served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She previously was engaged in the private practice of law where she practiced both civil and criminal law in state and federal courts. Judge Carr also served as a Child Welfare Worker. Judge Carr received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Richmond in 1987 and her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1984.

Judge Carr has received numerous awards and honors including:

  • Chi Chapter, Phi Alpha Honor Society, Honorary Member, George Mason University, 2010;
  • Law Service Award: Inspiring the Youth of Fairfax County, Fairfax Branch, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1999;
  • Judge of the Year, Virginia Foster Care Association, 1998;
  • Ebone’ Image Award, Coalition of 100 Black Women, 1996


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