News & Press: ISBA News & Events

Hon. Tanya Walton Pratt receives Rabb Emison Award from the Indiana State Bar Association

Thursday, October 29, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carissa Long
Share |

News Release

October 29, 2015


Hon. Tanya Walton Pratt receives Rabb Emison Award from the Indiana State Bar Association


INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 29, 2015) – Hon. Tanya Walton Pratt’s dedication to help promote diversity among members of the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) and the legal community were recognized at the ISBA annual meeting in French Lick earlier this month, where she received the Rabb Emison Award.

Judge Pratt was appointed judge of the United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, on June 15, 2010. Judge Pratt is the first African-American federal judge in Indiana history. She fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Hon. David F. Hamilton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.


From 2008 until her appointment to the bench of the District Court, Judge Pratt served as a judge in the Marion Superior Court, Probate Division. Previously, she served as presiding judge of Superior Court, Criminal Division 1, from Jan. 1, 1997 until Dec. 31, 2008. Prior to her election as judge, she was a partner at the Indianapolis firm Walton & Pratt, where she practiced in the areas of family law, personal injury, probate and criminal law. From 1994-96, she served as a master commissioner in the Marion Superior Court. Judge Pratt was also a public defender in Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division, for five years.


Judge Pratt is a member of the Indianapolis (past vice president), Marion County (member, board of directors) and Indiana State (member, House of Delegates; secretary, board of governors, 2009-10) bar associations. She is also a member of the National Association of Women Judges. She serves on the Indiana Lawyer Reader Advisory Panel; Marion Superior Court Executive Committee; and the American Inn of Court (Master). She has served as faculty for ICLEF’s Annual Practice Skills Summit and frequently serves as a faculty for the Indiana Judicial Conference and the Indianapolis Bar Association. In 2005, she was appointed to the Indiana Sentencing Policy Study Commission by Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard. 


Judge Pratt received her B.A. from Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., in 1981 and her J.D. from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., in 1984.




Founded in 1896, the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) is the single largest legal organization in the state. With more than 12,000 members, the ISBA serves and advocates on behalf of its members, their clients and the public interest as the independent voice of the legal profession. The ISBA’s office is located in downtown Indianapolis. For more information about the State Bar, visit


Media Contact: Carissa Long, Director of Public Relations & Social Media, ISBA, 800.266.2581,