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Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod had served as a Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit since 2007, with chambers in Houston, Texas. Prior to her confirmation, Judge Elrod was appointed and twice elected Judge of the 190th District Court of Harris County, Texas, where she spent over five years presiding over more than 200 jury and nonjury trials.
Judge Elrod is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Baylor University, where she was named the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the Honors Program. Baylor has since recognized her as an Outstanding Young Alumna. She currently serves as a member of the Baylor University Board of Regents. It was at Baylor that Judge Elrod met her husband of twenty-six years. They have two daughters, ages 14 and 17.
After Baylor, Judge Elrod graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as Senior Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Sim Lake of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Before serving as a judge, Judge Elrod was in private practice at Baker Botts L.L.P.
Judge Elrod is an active member of the community. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a member of the Board of the Houston Urban Debate League, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Judges Association. She has served as the Board Chair of the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism and on the Texas State Bar Committee on Pattern Jury Charges. She also served pro bono as the first general counsel of Communities in Schools-Houston and as Chair of the Board of the Gulf Coast Legal Foundation (now Lone Star Legal Aid).
Judge Elrod's publications include: Don't Mess with Texas Judges: In Praise of the State Judiciary, 37 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol=y 629 (2014); For Good: Enriching Your Practice and Your Life Through Pro Bono and Community Service, 4 Hous. L. Rev.: Off the Rec. 1 (2013); Is the Jury Still Out?: A Case for the Continued Viability of the American Jury, 44 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 303 (2012); and W(h)ither the Jury? The Diminishing Role of the Jury Trial in our Legal System, 68 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 3 (2011).