Jennifer Walker Elrod

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Jennifer Walker Elrod
Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod.jpg
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Assumed office
October 19, 2007
Appointed byGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byPatrick Higginbotham
Judge of the 190th Civil Court
for Harris County
In office
April 23, 2002 – October 4, 2007
Appointed byRick Perry
Preceded byJohn P. Devine
Succeeded byPatricia J. Kerrigan
Personal details
Jennifer Leigh Walker

(1966-09-06) September 6, 1966 (age 53)
Port Arthur, Texas
Spouse(s)Hal C. Elrod
EducationBaylor University (B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)

Jennifer Walker Elrod (born Jennifer Leigh Walker; September 6, 1966) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.


Elrod was born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1966 and grew up in Baytown, Texas. She attended Baylor University and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1988. At Baylor, she was the Outstanding Graduating Senior of the Honors Program and was eventually named Outstanding Young Alumna. She went to Harvard Law School in 1989 and received her Juris Doctor in 1992, graduating cum laude. At Harvard Law School, she was a member of the Board of Student Advisers, an active member of the Harvard Federalist Society, and a finalist in the Ames Moot Court competition. She became a member of the State Bar of Texas in 1992.

Elrod began her professional career by serving a two-year clerkship for federal district judge Sim Lake of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. After completing her clerkship, she became an associate at the national law firm Baker Botts in 1994, where she practiced a wide variety of litigation matters for the next eight years.

In 2002, Governor Rick Perry appointed Elrod to be a judge on the 190th District Court in Harris County. She was elected to the judgeship in the 2002 general election, and again in 2006 when she ran unopposed. As a state district court judge, she presided over jury and bench trials involving civil litigation. Elrod remained on the Harris County bench until her confirmation to the Fifth Circuit.

Fifth Circuit nomination and confirmation[edit]

President George W. Bush nominated Elrod to a vacancy on the Fifth Circuit on March 29, 2007 to replace Judge Patrick Higginbotham, who took senior status on August 26, 2006. Elrod received a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 19, 2007, and was voted out of committee on September 20, 2007. She was confirmed by the United States Senate by voice vote on October 4, 2007. Elrod was the fourth judge nominated to the Fifth Circuit by Bush and confirmed by the Senate. She maintains chambers in Houston, Texas.

Recognition and community involvement[edit]

Elrod serves on the Board of Advisors for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. She also serves on the Baylor University Board of Regents and is a member of the American Law Institute.

In 2017, the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists recognized Elrod as Appellate Judge of the Year. Additionally, she was named Judge of the Year by the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Texas Center for Legal Ethics Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Award. The Houston Bar Association has twice awarded her the President's Award. In 2013, the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession featured Elrod in its book, Learning to Lead: What Works for Women in the Law.


  • "Elrod, Jennifer Walker". Federal Judicial Center.
  • "Advisors". Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.
  • "Jennifer Walker Elrod". The Federalist Society.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Patrick Higginbotham
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit