Sharon N. Hill, JD, MBA
Sharon Nelson Hill is the founding executive director of Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, and retired in 2017 after twelve years of visionary leadership. Before joining Georgia Appleseed in 2005, Hill served on the bench of the Fulton County Juvenile Court as an Associate Judge for more than eight years.
Hill began her legal career in 1985 with the firm of Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan. From 1989 to 1995, Hill worked with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, first in the Cobb County Office as the Senior Citizens' Law Project attorney for that county and then in Legal Aid's downtown Atlanta office as a staff attorney with the AIDS Legal Project. Hill returned to private practice with the firm of Troutman Sanders from 1995 through 1996 and also served as the staff attorney for the Special Judiciary Committee of the Georgia Senate during the 1997 legislative session.
Hill joined the Fulton County Juvenile Court in 1997. While on the bench, Hill took an active part in the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges. Hill served as a member of the Council's Permanency Planning Committee (focusing on ways the court could help children in foster care return to their own families or find new adoptive families as soon as possible to end "foster care drift") and the Model [Deprivation] Courts Advisory Committee (to improve the way child abuse and neglect cases are handled by the court). At the Fulton County Juvenile Court, Hill heard all truancy cases for more than five years, founded the Education Advocacy Program Advisory Committee, piloted the implementation of Model Court initiatives in the area of deprivation, and was the Judge for the first Family Drug Court in Georgia.
By appointment of the Governor in 2002, Hill served as a member of the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel. Because of her work at the court to address Truancy, Hill was invited to serve as a founding member and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of KIPP South Fulton Academy, a Fulton County charter school. Hill also recently concluded several terms of service as a Trustee for the Georgia Bar Foundation.
She has served as the Co-Chair of the Resources/Training Work Group and member of the Executive Committee of the Chief Justice-Led Task Force to Promote Criminal Justice/Mental Health Collaboration. Hill also served on the Advisory Committee to the Committee on Civil Justice for the Georgia Equal Justice Commission and was the Chair of the State Bar of Georgia's Children and the Courts Committee. Hill helped form and provided service through the Executive Committee of the State Bar's Child Advocacy and Protection Section and is also a member of the Supreme Court of Georgia's Committee on Justice for Children and the State Bar's Indigent Defense Committee. As a member of her faith community, Hill has served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Mission and Action.
After graduating with a B.A. in History from Williams College, Hill entered Emory University's School of Law and School of Business Administration. She graduated with the joint JD/MBA degree, with distinction, at which time she was inducted into the legal honorary society, Order of the Coif, and into the business honorary society, Beta Gamma Sigma. Hill served on the Emory Law Review and was also awarded the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers' Award for Most Outstanding Female Graduate.
Hill received the 2005 Emory [Law School] Public Interest Committee's Inspiration Award for Unsung Devotion to Those Most In Need. In 2007, Hill was awarded the Practitioner of Excellence Award by Sisters United in Human Service, Inc., a human service organization of Muslim women that promotes interfaith service for all in need. In 2008, Hill received the Award of Achievement for Outstanding Service to the Public for work on the Model Juvenile Code Project from the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia. In 2009, Hill received the St. Thomas More Award for her “commitment to justice and humanity in difficult circumstances, during her public service.”
Hill is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, Class of 2009 and completed the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education's Education Policy Fellowship Program in 2010.
Hill and her husband, Ben Hill, have a daughter, who recently graduated from UGA.