University Bio - Cynthia Stephens

Cynthia Stephens

Adjunct Faculty

Contact Info:
Campus: Riverfront Campus
Building: Dowling Hall
Room: N/A
Phone: (313) 972-5708


  • J.D., Emory University, ‘76
  • Post Graduate, Atlanta University, ‘72
  • B.A., University of Michigan, ‘71


Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeals in 2008, Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens served as a general jurisdiction trial judge for 23 years. Judge Stephens was appointed to the Third Circuit Court in 1985 after service as a 36th District Court Judge. She was the Chief Judge Pro Tempore, Mediation Tribunal Chair, and Presiding Civil Division Judge of the 3rd Circuit Court for 8 years. Judge Stephens has been admitted to practice in Georgia, Texas, and Michigan.

She has been active in bar work including 16 years as a Commissioner of the State Bar of Michigan, chairing its Justice Initiatives Committee, Communications Committee and Children's Task Force. Judge Stephens is former chair of the Association of Black Judges of Michigan, a former member of the Executive Board of the National Bar Association and its Judicial Council. She has been honored by many civic and religious organizations including the inaugural Woodrow Smith Community Service Award from the Shrines of the Black Madonna, the Golden Heritage Award from Little Rock Baptist Church and the Susan B. Anthony Award from the City of Detroit Human Rights Department. She was awarded the State Bar of Michigan's highest honor, the Roberts P. Hudson Award in 2005.

Judge Stephens has served as faculty member for the National Judicial College and the Michigan Judicial Institute and the Emory Law School Eidsen Kessler Advocacy Program. She was a contributing author to the "Michigan Nonstandard Jury Instructions" as well as numerous articles on subjects ranging from jury selection to ethics.


Trial Practice (3770)