Tenth District Chancery Judge Dawn Beam, a mother of five and former state child services attorney, has been selected by Gov. Phil Bryant to replace Justice Randy Pierce on the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Pierce is leaving the high court Jan. 31. Beam will join the court Feb. 15 to fill Pierce’s unexpired term. Beam’s term will run until the position is filled by election in November.
“Her experience as a chancery judge, prosecutor, and a private practice attorney will be valuable in this role,” Bryant said in a written statement. “Her work earlier in her career at the Mississippi Department of Human Services dealing with federal compliance and protecting the children of Mississippi will be beneficial to the court, and I know she will serve the citizens of Mississippi well.”
Beam has been a Mississippi chancery judge for the 10th District presiding over cases in Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River and Marion counties since 2010.
Before becoming a chancery judge, Beam was the Lamar County prosecutor from 2007 to 2010, and her duties had a heavy emphasis on collaborating with social workers and youth service officers to protect abused and neglected children, the governor said.
Beam said it I an honor to be part of the judicial system and to help citizens resolve their differences in a peaceful manner. “I look forward to continuing that work on a larger scale,” she said.
Beam worked in private practice in Hattiesburg for 16 years earlier in her career, and also held the position of child support attorney from 1989 to 1994 with the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) previous to her private practice. Her duties at MDHS included drafting legislation to comply with federal regulations and other administrative functions. She also led a Hinds County Task Force on enforcement techniques to increase child support collections.
Beam holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in business from the University of Mississippi and earned her law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.
She is married to Dr. Stephen Beam. They have five children. Beam is also the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Gene Henderson.