Louisiana Supreme Court - 400 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130 | Tel: 504-310-2300 Hon. Bernette J. Johnson. Chief Justice.  John Tarlton Olivier., Clerk of Court.  Sandra A. Vujnovich. Judicial Administrator
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2019 Press Releases


CONTACT:  Trina S. Vincent


 MARCH 13, 2019



National Bar Association 2019 Gertrude E. Rush Award: Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson(center) Judge Rachael Johnson(left) and Joseph Drayton, President, NBA


Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson received the prestigious Gertrude E. Rush Award from the National Bar Association on March 9 in Dallas, Texas.  The award was presented by her daughter, Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Rachael Johnson, at the NBA’s 2019 Mid-Year Conference.   Chief Justice Johnson was joined by her brother, Frank Joshua, from Iowa and Louisiana Supreme Court Associate Justice James Genovese.

Upon accepting the award at the well-attended conference, Chief Justice Johnson said, “I am honored to receive this award which celebrates leadership in the community and in the legal profession, as well as concern for human and civil rights. I have always taken pride in working to advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and continue to strive to exemplify an unwavering commitment to justice and fundamental fairness.”

The Gertrude E. Rush Award, established in 2003, is presented to those who embody the pioneering spirit of Gertrude E. Rush, the first African-American woman admitted to the practice of law in Iowa in 1918 and the sole female co-founder of the National Bar Association.

Chief Justice Johnson, who serves as the first African-American Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, was one of the first African-American women to attend and earn a Juris Doctorate degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 1969.  In 1984, she was the first woman elected to serve on the Civil District Court of New Orleans and in 1994, her colleagues elected her Chief Judge. She was elected to serve on the Louisiana Supreme Court in 1994 and was re-elected without opposition in 2000 and 2010. As the senior justice on the Court, she was sworn in as Chief Justice on February 1, 2013.

For more information on Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson visit http://www.lasc.org/justices/johnson.asp



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Louisiana Supreme Court, 400 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130
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