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SPOTLIGHT: Louisiana Black History Makers


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Louisiana Black History Makers

The Honorable John Michael Guidry
15th Chief Judge of Louisiana • First Circuit Court of Appeal
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


John Michael Guidry, the remarkable Judge of Louisiana's First Circuit Court of Appeal, boasts an illustrious educational background, earning his B.A. in Political Science from LSU in 1983 with flying colors. In 1987, he graduated cum laude from the Southern University Law Center, further solidifying his position as a prominent legal figure.

Judge Guidry's journey in the legal world has been nothing short of remarkable. He has served as a legislative assistant to the Honorable Joseph A. Delpit, Assistant Clerk of the Louisiana House of Representatives, Assistant Parish Attorney for Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish, and Commissioner of the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission and the Greater Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Commission. He's also an experienced educator, serving as an Adjunct Professor at the Southern University Law Center since 1988 and at the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy at Southern University.

In 1991, Judge Guidry made his mark in the political arena, being elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives and, later, to the Louisiana State Senate in 1993. His hard work and dedication paid off in 1997 when he was elected as a First Circuit Court of Appeal Judge. He continues to serve with distinction in this position to this day.

Judge Guidry is an active member of numerous legal organizations, including the American and National Bar Associations, the American Judges Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Baton Rouge Bar Association, and the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society. He's also a member of the Louisiana Conference Court of Appeal Judges and the Louisiana Judicial Council of the National Bar Association.

A true leader in the legal community, Judge Guidry has been appointed twice by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve on the governing body of the Louisiana Judicial College. He served as the President of the Board of Governors in 2014 and continues to serve on the Louisiana Domestic Violence Judicial Curriculum Advisory Committee and the Baton Rouge Bar Association Pro Bono Committee.

The judge's family is equally impressive, with a wonderful wife, Carol Fowler, and two children, John Morgan and Kennedy Michelle.

Chief Judge John Michael Guidry has made history, becoming the 15th Chief Judge of the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal and the first African American to hold that position in the courts over 100-year history. His journey from a legislative assistant to a Chief Judge inspires all and reinforces the idea that anything is possible with hard work and determination.

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