Bernadette D'Souza

Judge Bernadette D'Souza is the Chief Judge of Civil District Court in New Orleans. She was a public interest lawyer for 18 years, many as Managing Attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

Judge D’Souza received her Juris Doctor degree from Tulane University Law School and served as an adjunct professor and clinical advisor in domestic violence and family law. She also gives lectures at Loyola College of Law on domestic violence and poverty law and serves on the Faculty of the NCJFCJ Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence. She served on many professional and community boards. Recently she was the President of NAWJ.

Judge D’Souza was a speaker at Women in Justice Conference in Yerevan, Armenia. She presented on Integrated Domestic Violence Courts – at the UN CSW. At the invitation from His Holiness Pope Francis, Judge D’Souza presented on Equal Access to Justice at the Pan-American Judges Summit at the Vatican.

 Judge D’Souza is the recipient of several prominent awards for her professional and personal commitment to the community, including the City Business Icon Award - honoring 20 leaders, Women of the Year, Professionalism, Distinguished Jurist, Public Service and Leadership, and the NAWJ Justice Vaino Spencer Leadership Award.

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