District Court judge earns Women's Bar Association honor

Debra Nance, a judge on the 46th District Court bench since 2013,was presented May 27  with the Joan Young Judicial Excellence Award from the Women’s Bar Association.

The award is named in honor of a longtime Oakland County Circuit Court judge who retired  in 2016.

An alumna of the University of Detroit, Judge Nance earned her law degree from Wayne State University. She has worked in the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Domestic Violence Unit and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Child & Family Abuse Bureau. In 2001, she went into private practice  and developed a litigation practice in civil, probate, family, and adoption law.

Nance developed and presented “Careers in the Courtroom” to encourage elementary and high school students to pursue careers as defense attorneys, prosecutors, civil attorneys and judges.  In addition, for adults, Nance has designed and presented “How to Prepare for Your Day in Court” and “Tips for Landlords and Tenants,” which she shares with neighborhood/condo associations, church groups, and veterans’ groups.

Nance was as a board member for the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association. She served on the Oakland County Bar Association Judicial Candidates Committee and was a  member of the Adoption Subcommittee of the Family Law Division for the State Bar of Michigan.

She was president of the Association of Black Judges of Michigan from 2016-17.