In January of 2021, Governor Roy Cooper appointed Alyson Adams Grine to serve as a Resident Superior Court Judge for Judicial District 15B, filling the vacancy created upon the retirement of the Honorable Carl Fox. The voters of Orange and Chatham Counties elected Judge Grine to serve a full eight-year term in November 2022. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Grine prosecuted homicides and other violent crimes as an Assistant District Attorney in Durham. She also served as Co-counsel on Policy for the District Attorney’s Office, crafting policies on crime victims’ rights, disclosing evidence, and other matters.

Commencement Address for UNC School of Law, May 2023

Family selfie on the Booker Creek Trail. From left to right: Jolene (dog), Wyatt, Karen, Hazel, and Alyson.

In addition to having served as a prosecutor, Judge Grine has also defended the rights of indigent people accused of felonies and misdemeanors in state trial courts. For five years, she worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Orange and Chatham counties. As a Spanish speaker, she represented most of the non-English speaking Hispanic clients assigned to the Office and spent most of her days litigating cases in Pittsboro and Siler City. In addition to criminal matters, Judge Grine handled specialized sessions of court focused on juvenile delinquency; mental health treatment; substance abuse recovery; child welfare; child support; and traffic.

Judge Grine signs the oath of office in the historic Orange County courthouse in Hillsborough, built in 1844.

Judge Grine has worked at every level of the North Carolina courts and been mentored by some of our state’s most distinguished leaders. She began her legal career as a law clerk for Justice (then Judge) Patricia Timmons-Goodson at the North Carolina Court of Appeals and then for Chief Justice Henry Frye at the North Carolina Supreme Court. In these chambers, she learned to revere the rule of law and analyze a wide range of civil and criminal issues.

She learned to revere the rule of law and analyze a wide range of civil and criminal issues.

Judge Grine has also worked in the academic setting. For ten years, she was the Defender Educator at the UNC School of Government, specializing in criminal law and procedure and how issues of racial and ethnic bias may affect criminal proceedings. She received the Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Teaching Excellence Award from the School in 2012, and the Margaret Taylor Writing Award in 2015 for her work on Raising issues of Race in North Carolina Criminal Cases. She taught courses for attorneys, judges, and magistrates, and authored publications on legal issues to assist them in carrying out the work of the courts. In 2016, the North Carolina Public Defender Committee on Racial Equity presented her with the James E. Williams, Jr. award for “dedication and tireless efforts in fighting for racial equity in the North Carolina criminal justice system.” She also served as an Assistant Professor at North Carolina Central University School of Law, where she taught writing courses such as Appellate Advocacy, and created a new course on Wrongful Convictions.

Jolene aka JoJo, one of the many rescue dogs who has come to Judge Grine’s house for some loving care.

Judge Grine earned a Bachelor of Arts with distinction and a Juris Doctor degree with honors from UNC Chapel Hill, as well as a Masters degree in Spanish from the University of Virginia. In law school, she was the recipient of the Alan Berman Scholarship for demonstrated commitment to the advancement of civil rights. In 2011, she was selected as a William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations and completed a two-year fellowship in engaging across differences such as race, class, and religion.

Presented with an award for “dedication and tireless efforts in fighting for racial equity in the North Carolina criminal justice system.”

Judge Grine was born and raised in Wilson, North Carolina, and currently lives in Chapel Hill with her wife, Karen Stegman, who serves on the Chapel Hill Town Council, and two children, Hazel and Wyatt, who attend Chapel Hill schools. Since 1996, she has been a member of the Community Church of Chapel Hill, where she has served as a board member and a High School Youth Group Leader. 

Sworn to support and maintain the United States and North Carolina laws and Constitutions, and to be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina.

Judge Grine is a member of professional organizations including the Task Force on Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System for District 15B (appointed 2015), the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, and Equality NC. In her spare time, you might find her hiking with her brother, training rescue dogs, cheering on the sidelines of her son’s soccer game or her daughter’s Science Olympiad event, or attending community events with Karen.