Karama Hawkins will be the kind of judge most people hope to have in our community. She’s smart, experienced, and most of all has the kind of insight and common sense that comes from life experiences full of challenges to overcome.

As the oldest of four children raised by a widowed mother, Karama had to shoulder responsibility early in life. And despite the challenge of supporting her own young daughter and struggling to complete her early education in high school and community college, Karama faced down traditional stereotypes and set her sights on becoming an attorney to “fight for those without a voice.” Karama worked as a receptionist and paralegal in law firms during the day to support her daughter while attending classes and studying late into the night. She finally realized her dream graduating from UW Law School in 2007.

Karama remained true to those early core values and has worked as a Public Defender for 14 years. Every day, she seeks to empower those whose voices are often unheard and whose challenges are marginalized. She helps them take control of their own lives and move down more productive paths – much as she did. Karama believes that the justice system should not be used as a weapon, but an opportunity for both accountability and positive change. Since 2015, Karama has been a highly respected Judge Pro Tem throughout King County, having presided in multiple courts, including the Shoreline District Court, more than 360 days in the past 6 years. Karama is a believer in the power of restorative justice and has extensive experience in developing and implementing Therapeutic Community Court programs. Our District Court in Shoreline has a Community Court, and Karama is eager to be an integral part of its growth and development. Karama believes in the impact that restorative justice can have in addressing the negative impacts that addiction, mental health issues and poverty have on our community.

Karama and her Mom, Marylyn Hawkins, also a Shoreline resident.


Karama is a leader in many organizations that strive for equity, and she has served the community through consistent pro bono representation for those who cannot afford a lawyer. She is also a mentor for at-risk youth of color seeking to empower themselves through exploration of the field of law as an attainable career path in the future.

Karama has been a resident of Shoreline for 34 years. She raised her daughter here, is helping care for her mother, Marylyn Hawkins, here, and loves the community. As one of our Shoreline District Court judges, Karama Hawkins will be a strong partner with Judge Joe Campagna, ensuring integrity, impartiality, accountability, equity, and respect for all who appear in our court.