“I have always had a heart for people, so I think that it was natural for me to gravitate towards family law cases.” – LaKeisha
LaKeisha N. Jefferson is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and an attorney in the greater New Orleans area with a concentration in family and domestic law. LaKeisha received her bachelor’s degree in English and Writing from Spelman College in 1999 and her JD from the Southern University Law Center in 2003. For nearly 17 years, LaKeisha has fought to get justice for families in family cases not only at the trial level but also in the Louisiana Courts of Appeal and the Louisiana Supreme Court.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, LaKeisha’s focus was seeking justice for the victims of domestic violence and advocating for families who were navigating the aftermath of the devastating floods. LaKeisha quickly learned how important it is for families to get before the family judges sooner rather than later as the courtroom is essentially an “emergency room” for families in crisis.
While running the Jefferson Law Firm, LaKeisha served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of New Orleans prosecuting domestic violence offenders; as a Staff Attorney for Project SAVE, a public interest law firm dedicated to assisting victims of domestic violence; a contract attorney in the family law unit for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services in Hammond, Louisiana; as well as served as conflicts counsel for the Orleans Parish Indigent Defender Program. LaKeisha’s experience in representing her individual clients while serving those organizations guided her in her practice as an attorney and counselor and helped her to develop a keen sense of understanding people and life’s difficulties. LaKeisha is prepared for the bench because she has dedicated herself to training in various subjects such as domestic violence, child custody and support and honed has her skills in the area of family law.
LaKeisha also understands that families can be complicated and what works for one family may not work for another. LaKeisha grew up in a blended family and understands the dynamics of children rotating in and out of the home on different physical custody schedules. LaKeisha will bring real world experience to the bench as she will relate to the many different people who come to family court. New Orleans’ families need a family court judge who can set aside their own biases and treat all litigants with respect. LaKeisha is ready to serve the families of New Orleans from the bench with these principles in mind.
LaKeisha is committed to families outside of the courtroom as well. LaKeisha can frequently be found volunteering for Louisiana State Bar Association programs, New Orleans Bar Association programs, Greater New Orleans Martinet Legal Society, Jefferson Bar Association, American Moot Court Association National Tournament, The Pro Bono Project, Independent Women’s Organization, the Upperroom Bible Church Food Bank, the Household of Faith Food Bank, the Connect Church Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank. In the wake of the COVD-19 pandemic, LaKeisha has also participated in several city-wide Community Mask Give-Aways. LaKeisha also serves annually as a coach for the Annual Allen Ray Bolin Trial Advocacy Workshop for High School Students where she teaches high school students how to conduct trials just like lawyers do every day. LaKeisha is also heavily involved in community outreach through a Breakfast with the Barbers Community Information Series where she speaks to barbers and their clients in Orleans Parish about their rights and tips to navigate the legal process when entering family court.
LaKeisha is a member of the Association for Women Attorneys, the Independent Women’s Organization, the New Orleans Black Chamber of Commerce, the New Orleans Chapter of the Alumnae Association of Spelman College and the Upperroom Bible Church. LaKeisha has prepared herself to serve as judge by studying at the National Judicial College in Reno, NV, where she was trained by judges from around the country on how to transition from representing clients to serving as a judge. LaKeisha is a 2019 Graduate of the Inaugural Class of the National Judicial College. LaKeisha is also an Alumnus of Emerge Louisiana – a candidate training program committed to training Democratic women to run for public office.
Why is LaKeisha Running?
Every litigant who walks into a family courtroom does so at one of the hardest times of their lives. Often times, people walk in, afraid and confused, seeking assistance on how to cope when devastation hits them at home. Whether they need a divorce, protection from domestic violence, shelter for their children, spousal support or their marital property divided, all litigants deserve a courtroom where their case can be heard efficiently and fairly. LaKeisha is committed to providing equal treatment to all litigants, regardless of their sexual orientation, race, religion, or immigration status.
LaKeisha is committed to minimizing the amount of time people have to spend in court rather than working to care for their families.
“As attorneys, we give voices to parties fighting to take care of their children. As your next family court judge, I am committed to allowing the people’s voices to be heard.” – LaKeisha
LaKeisha understands that families can be complicated and what works for one family may not work for another. New Orleans’ families need a family court judge who can set aside their own biases and treat all litigants with respect. LaKeisha is ready to serve the families of New Orleans from the bench with these principles in mind.
“Every mom and dad walking into a family courtroom should know that their time is valuable. People are taking time away from their jobs to come to court and have their business handled. The family court judge should handle their issues fairly and efficiently so people can get back to work and back to caring for their families."” – LaKeisha
LaKeisha has laid out her plan below to help families obtain justice in the most efficient way possible.
LaKeisha’s Vision for Division K
1. Establish Rocket Docket – Parents often take off or miss work for court only to sit around for extended periods of time waiting for their cases to be called. LaKeisha plans to schedule specific days for court appearances that do not require more than 30 minutes for the court to hear.
2. Establish More Efficient Pre-Trial Methods – Pre-trial conferences with the judge assist attorneys with gaining insight on the court’s view of the facts and the evidence. However, lengthy pre-trial conferences interfere with the flow of the docket and increase court wait times. As your next family court judge, LaKeisha will schedule specific days for court appearances that take the court less than 30 minutes to hear so that no one has to wait in court for over 5 hours only to find out that they will have to come back another day to have their issue resolved. Pre-trial conferences do not have to take away time from the people waiting for their cases to be called.
3. Increase Efficiency of Docket – proper preparation and review of whether cases can be disposed of quickly can decrease wait times in court. LaKeisha is committed to getting people out of court and back to work.