Velma Tilley (J.D. 1978)
Judge for the Juvenile Court
Bartow County, GA
Judge Tilley is the judge for the Juvenile Court of Bartow County, Georgia. Judge Tilley began her career as a clerk for Justice Jesse Boles and Justice Hardy Gregory of the Supreme Court of Georgia. After her time there, she worked with a small general practice firm in Cartersville. She had some cases in juvenile court but did not consider becoming a judge there because she didn’t like judging people. The Special Assistant Attorney General for Juvenile Court was on leave for a year. He specifically asked Judge Tilley to fill in for him, but when the year was over, he decided not to take his old job back. So Judge Tilley retained the position. As the Special Assistant Attorney General, Judge Tilley represented the Department of Family and Children Services in deprivation matters in Juvenile Court. When the long time judge retired, she gladly accepted the position as judge.
Judge Tilley’s advice for current law students and recent graduates trying to get internships and jobs is to take the initiative. Judge Tilley’s court doesn’t usually have the money or space for student workers, but a law student emailed her about working there over the summer. The student expressed interest in the juvenile court and had a connection to the area. She was assertive about working for Judge Tilley and was open to being wherever they needed her in the office. After interviewing with Judge Tilley, this student received the position. When interviewing, Judge Tilley advises you to dress appropriately and professionally and be courteous. The interviews Judge Tilley conducts are more like conversations, so be willing and able to competently discuss the work.