Erin Welborn Family photo

Meet Erin Welborn: Candidate for Shelby County District Judge

Special Feature


Erin Welborn is a wife, mother, attorney, and woman of faith who is running for Shelby County District Judge in Runoff on June 21, 2022 with Phillip Bahakel. Welborn is currently working as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of Alabama. “I represent children that are primarily in foster care that have been alleged to be abused or neglected.”

Erin Welborn HeadshotWhy is Welborn running for Shelby County District Judge? “I’ve worked in this court for about 14 years, and I know the ins and outs of it. I know where the problems are, where the good is and where the changes need to be made,” Welborn says, passionately adding, “I’m ready. I have the energy, the efficiency to make the improvements that the children and families of Shelby County deserve.”

Welborn is a lifelong resident of Shelby County. “I grew up here. I graduated from Pelham High School and went to the University of Montevallo before transferring to UAB and then attended Birmingham School of Law,” she says.

Welborn’s faith in Christ calls her to be the hands and feet of Jesus. “Being the hands and feet means that there are times you have to get a little dirty and get in the mix,” Welborn says, adding, “I have been committed in this season of life to follow where the Lord is leading.”

Welborn’s inspiration. “My father [Dick Bell] grew up in very challenging circumstances. If he had grown up in today’s times, he would’ve been in foster care.” His mother dealt with significant substance abuse. Before he passed away two years ago, while he was holding Welborn’s hand, he mentioned seeing his mother in front of him and said she was telling him it was time to come home. He told Welborn, “I’m scared.” Months later, Welborn realized that her father was dealing with unresolved trauma from his childhood. “No one should be at the end of their life still holding onto that childhood trauma,” Welborn says.

The Shelby County District Court, Place 1, is the juvenile court for Shelby County. This court deals with cases involving abused and neglected children along with children accused of committing crimes. Welborn believes this job requires someone that will show love and compassion while at the same time working to hold parents and children accountable for their actions. “I want to work to ensure children who come from difficult circumstances and have suffered trauma get the help they need to resolve their trauma,” Welborn says. For over 14 years, Welborn has represented countless families and children as an attorney in Shelby County and desires to continue to serve her community as their next District Court Judge.

Erin Welborn Family photo
Welborn and her family currently live in Unincorporated Shelby County and attend First Christian Church on Valleydale Road.

Welborn is excited about many aspects of serving as Shelby County District Judge including the fact that this judge will be over the Children’s Policy Council of Shelby County. “This is not just for kids that are involved in the court. This affects every child in Shelby County because it includes things like Summer Reading Initiatives, partnering with Backpack Buddies, and prevention programs like Compact,” Welborn says, adding, “My goal is to make sure we are setting our children and our system up for success.” If elected, Welborn hopes to create a Family Court for concerns of the family such as protections from abuse orders, divorce, and more. “Anything that would touch the family would come under the umbrella of the family court,” Welborn explains.  “I want to be part of the change. I want to make the system so much better than it is.” To learn more about Welborn, visit

-Melissa Armstrong


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