Benjamin Makin was appointed as a judge in Magistrate Court in February 2012. On January 1st, 2022 he was appointed Chief Judge of the Magistrate Court by the Superior Court Judges of the Western Circuit. Prior to his appointment Judge Makin worked as an attorney for the Western Circuit Public Defender’s Office for seven years. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in English Literature and from the University of Georgia School of Law.
Judge Makin is the past president of the Western Circuit Bar Association for 2018-2019. He is also a member of a Clarke County School District Local School Governance Team. In 2018 Judge Makin was named the Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School Volunteer of the Year. Judge Makin serves the DUI Drug Court both as a team member and as assistant judge to State Court Judge Charles Auslander. Since 2013 he has served as mentor for the Clarke County Mentor Program. Judge Makin has previously served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Athens Nurses Clinic, a non-profit organization that provides medical care to low income individuals in the Athens area. In 2004 he was the recipient of the University of Georgia School of Law’s Shelley D. Knox Equal Justice Award for Outstanding Public Service.
Judge Makin was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and grew up in Stillwater, Oklahoma before moving to Athens in 2001. He and his wife Mandy have two sons, Quentin and Owen. He and his family are a foster family for the Circle of Friends Animal Society. In his free time he enjoys reading, playing with his sons, listening to music and playing disc golf.