A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and Emory University School of Law, where she was an Earl Warren Scholar, Hatchett completed a prestigious federal clerkship in the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia. She then spent nearly 10 years at Delta Air Lines, where she was the airline’s highest-ranking woman of color worldwide. As Senior Attorney, she represented Delta Air Lines in labor/personnel, and antitrust litigation and commercial acquisitions. As Public Relations Manager, she supervised global crisis management and handled media relations for 50 U.S. cities as well as all of Europe and Asia.
Hatchett has presented leadership sessions for various companies including PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Georgia-Pacific, Wal-Mart and Hospital Corporation of America Inc. (HCA). Additionally, she frequently lecturers throughout the country, and has keynoted several national conferences including: Office Depot’s Success Strategies for Businesswomen Conference, Colgate Palmolive’s Multicultural Summit, the Diversity Conference in the U.S. Senate, the Minority Employers’ Conference at Newell Rubbermaid, Microsoft’s Education Summit, AT&T’s Diversity Summit, Home Depot’s Women’s History Speaker’s Series and Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference. She has also moderated several forums including the CEO Forum on Diversity Leadership and Wells Fargo’s Forum on the Economic Impact on Colleges and Universities. Hatchett served as a guest faculty member lecturing on Corporate Ethics at the University of Vanderbilt’s Directors College, presented by the Law School and the Owen Graduate School of Management.
Hatchett has served on the Boards of three Fortune 500 companies – HCA, The Gap Inc. and ServiceMaster Company.
While on the Board of Directors of HCA, she was Chair of the Ethics, Compliance and Quality of Care Committee. She was also a member of the HCA board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Hatchett was a member of the five-person special board committee that negotiated HCA’s $32.7 billion leveraged buyout paving the way for the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain to go private. At the time, the buyout was the largest leveraged buyout in US corporate history.
While a Board Director for The Gap Inc., Hatchett served on the Governance, Nominating and Social Responsibility Committee and the Compensation and Management Development Committee. Hatchett left Delta Air Lines to accept an appointment as Chief Presiding Judge of the Fulton County (Atlanta, Georgia) Juvenile Court—becoming the first African-American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court in Georgia and head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country. She is a member of both the Georgia Bar and the Bar of the District of Columbia.
Hatchett presided over the two-time Emmy nominated nationally syndicated show, Judge Hatchett, for 13 seasons (Sony Pictures Television). Judge Hatchett won a Prism Award for Best Unscripted Non-Fiction Series. She is also the author of the National Best Sellers, Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say (Harper Collins, 2003) and Dare to Take Charge (Center Street / Hachette Book Group, 2010).
Hatchett was a member of the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons’ Board of Advisors, and served as a consultant to the National Basketball Association on pressing legal and social issues.
Hatchett has consistently shown her commitment to community development through her service on various nonprofit boards including: the National Board of Governors of the Boys and Girl Club of America; the Leadership Circle for the After School Alliance and the Advisory Board for the Women’s Resource Center at Spelman College; and she formerly served on the Board of Advisors for PlayPumps International. Presently, Hatchett serves as the national spokesperson for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), a non-profit volunteer organization that trains volunteers to represent abused and neglected children and is the recipient of their President’s Award.
Currently, Hatchett is the proud founder of The Hatchett Firm, P.C. located in Atlanta, GA. The firm specializes in risk and crisis management and catastrophic police misconduct cases. She has access to an extensive network of attorneys who are dedicated to handling complex civil disputes, resulting from serious injuries and mass tort claims. The Hatchett Firm provides effective closing settlement strategies while using a client-centered approach.
Similar to her time on the bench, Hatchett vows to pursue justice for those who have experienced significant loss from the carelessness of others, and the families of victims of senseless violence at the hands of law enforcement.
With over 30 years of experience as a judge, corporate lawyer, and board member of corporate and nonprofit organizations, Hatchett has established a legacy of excellence.
Most recently, Hatchett has returned to TV in her new television court series, The Verdict. She presides over the series as a follow-up to Sony TV’s long-running Judge Hatchett. The Verdict marks Entertainment Studios’ sixth current court series on JusticeCentral.TV.
Hatchett is the recipient of numerous awards including the Roscoe Pound Award for outstanding work in Criminal Justice, NAACP’s Thurgood Marshall Award and she has been recognized as one of the “100 Best and Brightest Women in Corporate America” by Ebony magazine. She was named Distinguished Alumna at Mt. Holyoke College, which later granted her an honorary degree. Her other alma mater, Emory University Law School, named her Outstanding Alumni of the Year. Emory University also presented her with the highest award given to university alumni, the Emory Medal.