Cheryl Lynn Allen became the first African-American woman to be elected to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in 2007. A Pittsburgh native and former Pittsburgh public school teacher, Judge Allen is a graduate of Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She spent fifteen years practicing law before earning a merit selection appointment to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, in 1990. She was elected to a ten-year term in 1991, and retained in 2001 for a second ten-year term.
Judge Allen is a founding member of Women Without Walls (WWW), a ministry whose mission is to promote unity among women from varied cultural and denominational backgrounds. She serves on the Juvenile Court Judges Commission and on boards including the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, Hosanna House, and Cornerstone Television. She is a Waynesburg University Trustee and a former board member of Child Watch and Court Appointment Special Advocates (CASA).
In 2015, Allen ran unsuccessfully for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and retired from the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.Geneva College Serving Leader Award 2015
New Pittsburgh Courier's Women of Excellence Award, 2008
The Legal Intelligencer & Pennsylvania Law Weekly Women of the Year, 2008
Camp Fire USA Incredible Kid Day Breakfast of Champions, 2008
Celebrate & Share Woman of Achievement Honor Award, 2008
Three Rivers Youth Nellie Leadership Award, 2006
Greater Pittsburgh YWCA, Tribute to Women Award, 2006
Pennsylvania Commission for Women, Woman's History Month Award, 2005
Juvenile Court Judges Commission Award, 2004
Allegheny County Bar Association, Juvenile Justice Award, 2004
CASA Volunteer Recognition Award, 2004
Second Chance Inc., Women of Standard Award, 2004
University of Pittsburgh, Women's Law Association, Woman of the Year, 2002
University of Pittsburgh, Alumni of the Year, 1999