Immediately prior to her appointment, she served as Vice President and General Counsel for The Atlanta BeltLine Inc. She has also served as the Ethics Officer for the City of Atlanta; Interim City Manager for East Point, Georgia, where she had been the City Attorney for six years; inaugural Chief Assistant Public Defender for the Atlantic Judicial Circuit and Director of the Juvenile Division of the office; and Judge to the Fulton County Juvenile Court, where she served as its Chief Presiding Judge. Before her judicial appointment in May of 1999, Judge Hickson practiced law for 15 years in a variety of capacities, including Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, General Counsel for the Atlanta Housing Authority, General Counsel and Vice President for Atlanta Life Insurance Company, and the first African American female Vice President and Associate General Counsel to Primerica Financial Services. Her extensive community involvement has included membership on the former Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers Board of Directors, the Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates Program Board, the Georgia Board for the Covenant House, the Community Advisory Board of the Atlanta Junior League, the Board of Metropolitan Atlanta Boys and Girls Club, and the Advisory Board to the Sister-to-Sister mentoring program which she initiated with the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and first time juvenile female offenders. She is a member of the 2004 class of Leadership Atlanta. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in Journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and her Doctor of Law degree from Emory University in Atlanta.