Alison Hatheway

Office: For Judge of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, General Division
Term Beginning 2/13/2021

Age: 44

Residence: Cincinnati



Social Media:

Occupation: Attorney

Education: B.A., Speech Communication, Muskingum University; J.D. Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University

Work Experience: Director, Juvenile Division of the Law Office of the Hamilton County Public Defender

Family: Married with 3 children, ages 14, 11, and 8

Affiliations: Greater Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (GCCDLA); National Association for Public Defense (NAPD); Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC); Silverton Democratic Club

Endorsements: Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 212; UFCW-Local 75; Ohio AFSCME Power in Action; Bold New Democracy; Thaddeus Hoffmeister, Mayor of the City of Wyoming, Ohio; Equality Cincinnati PAC (

Bar Association Ratings: 

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
As a first time judicial candidate, I do not have prior judicial experience. However, I have extensive courtroom and litigation experience.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I have nearly thirteen years of litigation experience. My entire legal career has been devoted the pursuit of justice and serving the people of Hamilton County. I currently lead a team of trial attorneys, social workers, an investigator, paralegal, and administrative staff. I am also the point of contact for a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to implement a holistic defense team project. The project includes the implementation of a participatory defense model in Hamilton County. The model is the first of its kind to be established in the State of Ohio. I have worked on policy issues, such as ending the practice of shackling children in courtrooms and advocating for the rights of victims of human trafficking. I have given presentations on various legal topics to a variety of groups at the local, state and national level.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
My extensive experience as a trial attorney and as a leader in the Public Defender’s Office has provided me with a unique perspective on how the justice system can better work for all of Hamilton County. I understand how important our justice system is, and how deeply and permanently it can affect the lives of those who come in contact with it.

As a Public Defender, I have helped hundreds of families navigate our current justice system. As a judge, I will facilitate the systemic change that our justice system in Hamilton County desperately needs. Everyone who is affected by the criminal justice system should be treated fairly and with the utmost respect, which doesn’t always happen. As a judge, I will require that every professional who appears in my courtroom treat every person with dignity and respect. I would be committed to conducting thorough research, and fairly and justly weighing the evidence presented. Everyone’s rights are important and should be protected. I want every person who goes through our court system in Hamilton County to be treated justly, fairly and with respect throughout the entire process. It’s time for “Smart Justice,” which means that when appropriate, working to find alternatives to incarceration and utilizing programs that promote accountability, but also work to rehabilitate offenders and restore victims. My approach has always been and will always be to act thoughtfully, fairly and effectively.

As Judge, I will work with other Judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and court administrators to promote firm but fair and equal enforcement of the laws; reform the cash bail system; ensure that punishments are proportionate to the crime; and create programs that will rehabilitate, deter crime, and reduce recidivism.