Judge Jennifer Elrod was confirmed on October 4, 2007, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which hears appeals from the federal district courts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Judge Elrod is known for her outstanding intellect, strong work ethic, integrity, courteous demeanor, and dedication to public service.
Judge Elrod has a distinguished record as a state court judge and as a practicing attorney.
Since 2002 until her appointment as a federal judge, Judge Elrod served as a trial judge on the 190th District Court in Harris County, Texas.
As a judge, she presided over more than 125 jury and non-jury trials.
Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Elrod practiced in Houston, Texas, in the trial department of Baker Botts, L.L.P., a top national firm. At Baker Botts, Judge Elrod worked on a wide variety of litigation matters and appeared in both state and federal court.
Judge Elrod has exceptional academic credentials and professional training.
Prior to her service as a judge and in private practice, she served as a law clerk to Judge Sim Lake of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1992, where she was a finalist in the James Barr Ames Moot Court Competition. She graduated magna cum laude from Baylor University as the "Outstanding Graduating Senior in the Honors Program" with a B.A. in Economics in 1988.
Judge Elrod has long been dedicated to pro bono service and charitable causes. She has used her legal skills to assist numerous individuals on a pro bono basis.
Judge Elrod has received several awards for her pro bono activities, including the "Thomas Gibbs Gee Award" for Outstanding Pro Bono Work from Baker Botts, L.L.P. and the "President's Award" from the Houston Bar Association for Outstanding Service to the Bar.
Judge Elrod continues to perform in the Houston Bar Association's "Night Court," an annual musical production put on by members of the bar to raise funds for the Houston Bar Foundation and other charitable organizations.
While in private practice, Judge Elrod served as a board member and chair of the board of the Gulf Coast Legal Foundation (now Lone Star Legal Aid), which is one of the largest providers of legal aid services to the poor in Texas.
She served as pro bono general counsel to Communities in Schools in Houston, which helps disadvantaged students reach their educational goals, and as co-chair of the Houston Volunteer Association's Legal Line, where she answered legal questions over the telephone.
She also participated in the 2007 Evidence Seminar for Legal Aid Attorneys, which helps teach, develop, and encourage legal advocacy skills in legal services attorneys.
The State Bar of Texas recently appointed Judge Elrod to the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism Board.