It was not quite 18 months ago that Courtney Hudson Henry was sworn in as a judge of the Arkansas Court of Appeals, a court she had served as a law clerk from 1997 to 2005.
Then last month, she handily defeated Crittenden County Circuit Judge John Fogleman for a seat on the state Supreme Court. She won't be sworn in there until Jan. 1, so she will spend a quarter of her time as a Court of Appeals judge waiting to take her place as a justice on Arkansas' highest court.
What's the rush, Judge Henry?
"I don't know that I'm in a hurry," she says. "I don't think that Arkansas has to wait for good leadership in any branch of government until a certain time."
Henry graduated from Harrison High School and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She stayed at UA for law school, finishing in 1997.
After eight years on the Court of Appeals staff, Henry and her husband returned to Fayetteville and started the Henry Law Firm. They and their three children have continued to make their home in Fayetteville while Courtney has served as an appeals judge.
When asked if she will run for other political offices, she says, "I may. For now I'm eternally grateful for election to the Arkansas Supreme Court, and my focus is beginning my service there."