Joal Broun, a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, has been appointed District Court judge in Judicial District 15B, serving Chatham and Orange counties.
Gov. Roy Cooper, who appointed Broun following Judge Beverly Scarlett’s retirement, said in a press release that he was pleased to appoint her to the bench.
“Joal is an experienced leader who will serve our state and its people with distinction,” Cooper said.
Broun graduated from the Wake Forest University School of Law in 1986 with her Juris Doctor and previously served on the Carrboro Town Council.
She currently works as the director of the Lobbying Compliance Division for the Secretary of State department. Broun said her role has given her the opportunity to participate in business registrations, the regulation of securities, business filings and counterfeit trademark enforcement.
On the Board of Education, Broun, whose term ends this year, said while it was challenging, her time serving was an honor and a privilege.
"It has been challenging through the pandemic — making sure that we protect the health and safety of our students, of their teachers, of all of the administrators, and support staff that work to educate students in this community," Broun said.
Board member Rani Dasi, a close colleague and friend of Broun’s, said she has had the chance to observe Broun being thoughtful, being able to listen to any constituent and being careful to spend time in her decision-making throughout her time on the board.
“I think that her school board experience, as well as her professional legal experience, really helps her to deeply understand the needs of the community and what creates environments that might lead people to be involved in the criminal justice system,” Dasi said.
Additionally, Broun serves as the second vice president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP.
“It has been an honor to be part of an organization that continues to work so that all people in the United States will be treated fairly," she said.
Mary Ann Wolf, another close colleague of Broun’s on the Board of Education, said although Broun’s presence on the board will be missed, she is glad Broun will be continuing to serve the community.
“I think that with Joal serving in these different elected roles that she’s had, that she has learned about different aspects of the community and government and that she has really gotten to know the people where we live in different ways,” Wolf said.
As the new District Court judge of Chatham and Orange Counties, Broun said she hopes to ensure that justice is applied fairly and not in a disparate way.
“Public service is a way to help make sure that other people have the same or better opportunities than you have, and that's really the long-term goal, at least for me,” Broun said.
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