J. Elaine Marshall

J. Elaine Marshall

Director & Presiding Judge

City of Houston Municipal Courts

Houston, TX USA

Never let anyone steal your dream. If it’s your dream, it’s your dream. Pursue it, and make it happen.


By Roadtrip Nation

J. Elaine Marshall


My road in life has been direct.
Born and raised in Texas.
Dreamed about going to Notre Dame University, but was told she couldn’t because it was an all boys school—she later became part of the first group of women to attend and graduate.
Later she received her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas.
Right out of law school she became an assistant district attorney for Harris County, Texas and assisted in developing the office’s Child Abuse Division.
She was confirmed as a full-time municipal judge in 1987, then served as administrative judge and, later, was appointed associate presiding judge.
Has served the City of Houston for 30 years—one of her major accomplishments is Houston’s Teen Court Program, which she re-organized and built into one of the premier programs in the community.
In 2016, she was appointed Director and Presiding Judge for the Municipal Courts Department ensuring justice is administered fairly to all.
Was awarded “Outstanding Judge” by the Texas Municipal Courts Association in 2017, which is an award given to a municipal judge who demonstrates excellence in the fair administration of justice.
Keep following my journey


Director & Presiding Judge

I am the Director and Presiding Judge of Houston, TX ensuring justice is administered fairly to all.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Accomplishing Goals

Day to Day

I oversee all departments of the courthouse. I ensure the Judges are on the benches and the clerks are where they need to be. I make sure our budget runs smoothly. I help conduct student tours and I oversee our Teen Court. My typical day has many twists and turns which can be challenging.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for professionals

Gain an in-depth and wide range of knowledge on the law. You should be able to speak on a variety of law topics.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You can't go to Notre Dame because it's an all-boys school."

Challenges I Overcame

Learning Issues

Interviewed By

Room to Grow

Room to Grow

Texas high schoolers choose their education focus