Susan Hawk has dedicated her legal career to public service and our community. She has twenty years of experience trying and presiding over some of the toughest and most difficult cases. As a result, she had a "front row seat" to see what did and did not work in the system. Susan is a devoted supporter of criminal justice reform and rehabilitation. She is vehemently against mass incarceration. Susan is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness in the community and legal profession by sharing her own personal journey of growth and recovery. She is dedicated to breaking down the over-whelming stigma of mental health, not just in the criminal justice system, but in our communities.
Susan was quickly promoted to deputy chief over the Child Abuse Division in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office in 1999. She took over a backlog of 100 old child abuse cases that had languished for years. She dismissed and reached fair plea agreements in the majority of these cases. However, in one year, her vast experience in the court room authorized her to take 24 of these serious offenses to jury trial and won 23 of those cases. In 2001, the North Texas Crime Commission named her Prosecutor of the Year.
In 2002, Susan was elected Judge of the 291st Judicial District Court and was the youngest elected District Court Judge in the State of Texas. She was named Rookie Judge of the Year by The Dallas Observer and served with distinction for almost a decade.
In 2003, her most progressive initiative on the bench was to organize and preside over the first felony specialty court named ATLAS (an acronym for “Achieving True Liberty And Success”). ATLAS was dedicated to defendants with co-occurring disorders of mental illness and substance abuse. Unfortunately, these individuals were the highest risk to reoffend and become victims of the “revolving door” occurring in and out of our jails due to little or no resources available upon their release. The ATLAS program provided mental health services, drug treatment and housing for individuals giving them the opportunity to reconnect with their families and become successful members of their community.
In 2015, Susan Hawk became the first elected female District Attorney in Dallas County history.
Susan established her own legal practice in February 2020. She pledges to bring her clients twenty years of experience with the same tenacity and grit and will equally provide that level of attention and care to all of her clients.
Advocacy, AWARDS & Speaking Engagements
September 2, 2009 - Susan Hawk's ATLAS Mental Health Court on NBC 5 in DFW
2003 Rookie Judge of the Year - Dallas Observer
2001 Prosecutor of the Year - North Texas Crime Commission
After 23 Years, One More Wrongfully Convicted Dallas Man Tastes Freedom - Dallas Observer
Judge Susan Hawk - ATLAS Mental Health Court on NBC 5