Kim Berkeley Clark Biography
Judge Kim Berkeley Clark was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pa., by Gov. Tom Ridge in March 1999 and was elected to a full 10-year term in November of that year.
She currently serves as a judge in the Family Division, where she primarily hears Juvenile Court cases.
From January 2006 through January 2009, Clark served as the administrative judge of the Family Division in Allegheny County, becoming the first African-American to be appointed to this position.
Prior to this appointment, Clark served as the supervising judge of Juvenile Court.
Clark has also been appointed to serve as a member of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Racial, Gender, and Ethnic Fairness; the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency—Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee; the State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision; the Beverly Jewel Wallace Lovelace Children’s Program Advisory Board, the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Ethics Committee, the NCJW Children’s Waiting Room Advisory Board; the Allegheny County Youth Futures Commission; the Pennsylvania Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network; the Fatherhood Engagement and Visitation Workgroups for the Statewide Children’s Roundtable (co-chair); and the Joint State Government Commission on Children of Incarcerated Parents.
Clark previously served as a member of the Pennsylvania Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee; the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission; the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Curriculum Committee; the Governor’s Commission on Children and Families; and the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Ethics Committee.
Prior to serving as judge, Clark was as an assistant and deputy district attorney in Allegheny County for almost 16 years. She tried more than 150 jury trials, including numerous sexual assault and child abuse cases and approximately 75 homicide cases. Clark tried the first gang-related and drive-by shooting homicide cases in Allegheny County and headed the Crimes Persons Unit, which handled all of the sexual assault and child abuse cases in Allegheny County.
Clark is the first judge and first African-American woman to serve as president (2006-2007) of the Allegheny County Bar Association, and she also served as secretary (1997-2003) and member of the Board of Governors (1996-2003) of that organization.
She is a Fellow of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, a member of the Homer S. Brown Law Association, a member of the Women in the Law Division, the Family Law Section, and the Juvenile Law Committee.
Her other professional memberships include: the Pennsylvania Bar Association; the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, where she serves as treasurer and as president-elect of the Juvenile Section and as a former member of the Education Committee; the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, where she serves as a member of the Board of Trustees and as chair of the Board of Fellows of the National Center for Juvenile Justice; and the Women’s Bar Association of Western Pennsylvania.
Clark has also served as a mentor and moot court judge for law students. She has been an instructor of evidence at the Allegheny County Police Academy and an instructor in drug laws for the Pennsylvania Minor Judiciary Education Board.
She also has been a frequent lecturer, speaker and panelist on the subjects of child abuse and sex assault prosecution and juvenile law at universities and colleges and for organizations such as the American Humane Society, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Pediatric Society, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, Holy Family Institute and many others.
In 2011, Clark was a keynote speaker for the 1st Canadian Conference on Family Group Conferencing in Toronto, Canada.
Clark also has served on the attorney general’s Medical Legal Advisory Board on Child Abuse and on the Allegheny County Child Death Review Team.
In 1990, as part of the conference papers sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh and the Family Intervention Unit of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Perspectives on Child Abuse: Pre-School Children and Their Families, Clark published a paper titled “Prosecuting Child Abuse Cases.” She is the author of two chapters of the new Pennsylvania Dependency Benchbook and numerous “President’s Messages” for the Allegheny County Bar Association.
Clark was born and raised in Wilkinsburg, Pa. She graduated from Wilkinsburg High School and received her B.A. in French from Tennessee State University. She received her law degree from Duquesne University School of Law.
She is a life-long, active member of the Church of the Holy Cross, where she is a member of the choir, accompanist and has served as interim organist and choir director. She has also served as the vice chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Clark is also active in her community. She serves as a trustee for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and is a member of the Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board (past chair), Lydia’s Place Advisory Board, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council Advisory Board, The Pittsburgh Project Board of Directors, and the Advisory Committee of the Pittsburgh Urban League’s Urban Youth Empowerment Program.
She is a former board member of Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute, Womanspace East, and the Urban League of Pittsburgh.
In 1999, Clark received the Humanitarian Award from the McKeesport Black Caucus. She received a Champion of Grace Award from Graceworks Ministries in December 2001.
Clark is also the recipient of the Outstanding Judge Award for 2001-2002, presented by the University of Pittsburgh Black Law Students Association; A Mosaic of Public Service Award of Excellence in Law from the Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in 2003; the Children First Prevention Award from Family Resources in 2004; the Lydia’s Place Volunteer Award in 2005; the Vision Outreach Ministries Stop the Violence Humanitarian Award in 2005; and the Duquesne Light/WQED Multimedia African American Leadership Award for Excellence in Education and the Children’s Hospital/UPMC Champion of Hope and Healing Award, both in 2007.
Clark (on behalf of the Allegheny County Family Division) received an award for collaboration from the Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption Network.
In 2006 and 2008, the New Pittsburgh Courier named Clark one of the 50 Women of Influence.
Clark received the Wings’ Award in 2008 from the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School.
In 2009, Clark was presented with the Dr. Lottie P. Edwards Community Service Award for the Mount Ararat Community Activity Center and was a recipient of the Women of Distinction Award from the St. Mark AME Church.
In 2011, Clark received the Wesley Spectrum Services Black History and Diversity Hero of the Year Award, the William H. Moore Award for Excellence from N.O.B.L.E., and the Three Rivers Adoption Council Friend of Adoption Award.
In 2012, she received the Drum Major of Justice Award from the Homer S. Brown Division of the Allegheny County Bar Association and was recognized as a Woman of Distinction in Law from the Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania. Clark also received the 2012 Judge Homer S. Brown Award from the Pittsburgh NAACP and the 2012 Phillip Werner Amram Award from the Allegheny County Bar Association.
Clark is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Links and the Girlfriends.
She is married to Walter Hales Jr. She enjoys music, reading and cooking in her spare time.