Barbara Jackson, Candidate for North Carolina Supreme Court
In November 2010, Barbara Jackson was elected to serve on the Supreme Court of North Carolina—twenty years after beginning her career there as a law clerk for (then Associate) Justice Burley B. Mitchell, Jr. Previously, she served as Associate Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals for six years. Prior to taking office, she practiced law for fourteen years, including serving as General Counsel to Commissioner Cherie Berry in the North Carolina Department of Labor. She also worked in Governor James G. Martin’s office, for an advocacy agency for persons with disabilities, and in private practice concentrating in the area of land use and local government law prior to returning to public service at the Labor Department.
Justice Jackson received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Thomas J. Watson National Merit Scholar, and served on the staff of the Law Review and as President of Phi Delta Phi in law school. In May 2014, she was awarded a Master of Laws in Judicial Studies from Duke University School of Law. An updated version of her thesis, “Called to Duty: Justice William J. Gaston,” was published last fall in the North Carolina Law Review.
In May 2015, Chief Justice Mark Martin appointed Justice Jackson as one of five co-chairs of a new North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice. She was charged with focusing on the area of technology and the courts. In 2014, Justice Jackson authored the article “To Follow or Not To Follow: The Brave New World of Social Media,” published in the ABA Judges Journal.
Justice Jackson is a member of the Appellate Judges Conference of the ABA, and serves as State Chair for North Carolina. She is a past member of the Board of Governors and Section Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association, and remains active in other sections and committees. Justice Jackson also previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Wake County Bar Association. Currently, she serves on the North Carolina Courts Commission and is a past member of the Dispute Resolution Commission.
Justice Jackson is the daughter of Phyllis Jackson and the late Kenneth W. Jackson. She was raised in Wake County and graduated from Athens Drive Senior High School. In 2011, Justice Jackson married Stanly County native Scott Mabry at Highland United Methodist Church, where she has been a member since 1974.
In 1996, Justice Jackson appeared on the game show JEOPARDY! as a contestant. When time permits, she enjoys competing in trivia contests on a team with some of the other North Carolina appellate court judges.