Judge Lane was born and raised in West Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C., where she excelled as a student leader, and was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Chapter. The value of hard work and public service were instilled in her at a very young age by her mother, now a retired Philadelphia Police Detective, and values she has passed on to her daughter Tori, a student at Howard University. With those values engrained in her, she took on the challenge of teaching social studies to middle school students in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Following a successful teaching career, Judge Lane decided to pursue a career in law. In 2002, she received her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers-Camden School of Law in New Jersey. While attending Rutgers, she continuously sought ways to serve her community and worked for the Pro Bono Domestic Violence Project, the Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project and co-chaired the Black Law Students Community Outreach program.
Her legal career has been defined by her desire to serve the community. After serving as a law clerk, she represented clients in various areas of family law, ranging from support to custody issues, and represented indigent families involved in dependent matters as a Certified Child Advocate Attorney. Afterwards, she went on to work as a major trial attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Her primary duties were to litigate complex criminal jury and waiver trials for indigent adults and juveniles in Philadelphia’s criminal justice system. She also served as a supervisor and participated in the Safe Surrender Program at True Gospel Tabernacle Family Church.
She left the Defender Association to serve the community in a different capacity, as Chief Legal Counsel for State Senator Anthony H. Williams and as the Democratic Executive Director for the Pennsylvania State Senate State Government Committee. In this role, she was on the front lines challenging Pennsylvania’s restrictive Photo ID law, organizing rallies and drafting legislation to counter its disparate impact on seniors, minorities, LGBTQ+ and poor communities. Additionally, she assessed the constitutionality of proposed and existing legislation, and provided legal advice and guidance regarding the legal implications of legislation, regulations, and administrative policies. She also served as an Arbitrator and a member of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations.
In January 2013, after much soul searching and consultation with her family and Pastor, she decided to pursue a seat on the Court of Common Pleas. To accomplish this goal, she left her job and sold her car because she knew the challenges she would face. Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, she forged ahead walking by faith. Her tireless and dedicated approach was met with success when she was officially elected to the Court of the Common Pleas in November 2013.
Judge Lane is presently assigned to the Complex Litigation jury trial program in the Civil Division. She was previously assigned to the Major Trials program in the Criminal Division. Here, Judge Lane was the sole judge handling human trafficking cases. In addition, she handled serious felony criminal matters including but not limited to domestic/family violence, sexual assault, attempted murder, arson, robbery and burglary. She also presided over Investigative Grand Jury matters and oversaw various re-entry programs. Currently, she serves as Chair of the Board of Judges Board of City Trust Committee, Co-Chair of the Local Criminal Rules Committee and a member of the Communication and Community Affairs, Civil Rules, Jury, FYI and Women Judges Initiative committees. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court appointed her to the County Adult Probation and Parole Advisory Committee (CAPPAC) where she serves as Co-Chair. Governor Tom Wolf appointed her as a Commissioner to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. She also serves as a Zone 1 Delegate with the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Additionally, she served on the Elder Task Force, as the former secretary for the Clifford Scott Green Chapter of the National Judicial Council and volunteer judge for the Safe Surrender Program at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Judge Lane’s commitment to the community extends well beyond her legal career. She was formerly a Trustee at Bright Hope Baptist Church, Executive Director of the New Life New Member Ministry and Vice-President of the Hospitality Ministry. She worked for Habitat for Humanity during Hurricane Katrina and traveled to New Orleans to rebuild homes destroyed by the hurricane. Multiple Chancellors of the Philadelphia Bar Association appointed her Co-Chair of Advancing Civic Education (ACE,) in which judges and lawyers teach civics to high school students, and she is Co-Chair for The National Trends and Services Facet for The Links, Inc., Delaware Valley Chapter. Additionally, she served as an Adjunct Professor at Harcum College and is an Executive Board member of the Greenhill Farms Residents Association; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter; The National Coalition of 100 Black Women; The Black Brain Campaign and she has served on countless Boards.