You'll still see Alice Stubbs in Wake County's family court in 2006, but she'll be working from the other side of the bench.
Stubbs, appointed as a district court judge in 1997 and elected in 1998 and 2002, spent her last day in the black robe Dec. 30.
This week, she became a family lawyer in private practice on Fayetteville Street at Tharrington Smith law firm.
"I'm staying really involved with the family law court," said Stubbs, 38, who graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill's law school. "I'll still be in family court on a regular basis -- just as an advocate instead of a judge."
Stubbs said her greatest accomplishment was working on the committee that helped create a family court in Wake County and a more efficient "one family/one judge" system.
She spent most of this week weeding out the firm's cases in which she was the assigned judge and meeting with new clients. And she hopes to have more time with her No. 1 priorities -- her sons, ages 3 and 5.
Wake County Bar members will vote this month to determine which three lawyers will be recommended to Gov. Mike Easley. The governor will appoint one of the three to replace Stubbs until the election in November.