Chief Judge New Orleans Parish Juvenile Court
Plenary Respondent: Student Behavior in the Context of Emerging Research
Ernestine Steward Gray, Chief Judge New Orleans Parish Juvenile Court was first elected to the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, Section "A", on November 6, 1984 to fill an unexpired term. She was re-elected in July, 1986, October 1994 and again in November 2002.
A native of South Carolina, Judge Gray received her early education in the public schools of Orangeburg, South Carolina. She graduated from Wilkinson High School in 1964. She attended Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Louisiana State University School of Law where she received her Juris Doctorate degree in 1976. Judge Gray was admitted to the Louisiana Bar on October 2, 1976. Before Judge Gray's election to the bench, she was engaged in the private practice of law. She also worked with the Baton Rouge Legal Aid Society where she handled hundreds of family law cases. In November, 1977 she was hired by the Louisiana Attorney General, William J. Guste, Jr., to work in the Anti-trust Unit. In December, 1979 she became a trial attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a position which she held until she resigned to become a candidate for judge. Active in civic and community affairs, Judge Gray is a member of numerous professional and civic organizations and has served on many boards and committees many of which have as their mission improving the lives of children and families.
She is the Past President of the National CASA, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the YWCA Board of Directors and is currently Secretary of the Louisiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Judge Gray has received national recognition for her work and is in great demand as a presenter and speaker on the local, state, and national levels.