In June of 1998, Pauline M. Ingraham-Drayton became the first African American female to be appointed as a County Judge in Jacksonville, Duval County Florida. This historical event was noted as a major accomplishment as no other African American female had held this position either by election or appointment. She later married Phillip Drake and used the name Pauline M. Drake for the duration of her term. Judge Pauline M. Ingraham-Drayton (Drake) subsequently served a term of twenty-one years having never drawn any opposition in a bid for re-election. At the time of her appointment Judge Drake had been a member of the Florida Bar for over ten (10) years. Her previous experience included a Prosecutor in the Fourth Judicial Circuit where she served in the Division of Special Prosecution and was assigned to the White Collar Division, a Regional Legal Advisor where she was responsible for advising Special Agents in complex legal matters and successfully forfeited million or dollars in property under the forfeiture act, operated her own private practice and handled cases in the juvenile, criminal and family law areas and was a certified Circuit, family law and county court mediator.
Since education was her first love Judge Drake returned to the classroom on a volunteer basis to educate elementary, middle, and high school students about the Constitution and the importance of understanding the law and education. She was an integral part of “Justice Teaching” but extended her involvement to “adopting” schools in in under-served communities by providing resources for support. Brentwood Elementary School of the Arts, one of her adopted schools is the only featured school in Duval County that is a distinct part of the time capsule which now resides at the Duval County Courthouse.
Although now retired, her work with the community continues. She currently serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition Contract Committee and has the distinction of serving as its Board Chair for two years. This organization has its primary goal to strengthen families and to decrease infant mortality by providing needed services in Northeast which includes Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Nassau and Baker County. She also began a Literary Program which provides new books to women and children in this area.
Upon retiring, she was again recertified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Senior Judge is currently able to serve as a Circuit and County Judge throughout the State of Florida. She has returned to the bench in this capacity and has served on the criminal bench, civil and Circuit in Duval County. Judge Drake has been consistently involved with the Brentwood Library and has served as a consultant on programming and has participated in celebrations for the James Weldon Johnson Committee.
She is married to Phillip Drake and has blended family which consists of children and grandchildren, and enjoys cooking for family and creating special gatherings.