In the 37 years since Orinda D. Evans first donned judicial robes, she has presided over hundreds of cases, including the highly-publicized trial of former prosecutor Fredric Tokars, sentenced to life in prison for racketeering, money laundering and the 1992 murder-for-hire of his wife.

Nominated by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 to the U.S. District Court’s Northern District, Evans was the first woman in Georgia appointed to the federal bench and, at 36, one of the youngest. Today, the 72-year-old Evans takes her pioneer legacy in stride. “I don’t think about it much,” she says.

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