Njeri Rutledge is a legal expert, professor, writer, former judge and former prosecutor. She serves as an Opinion Columnist for USA Today and is a tenured professor at South Texas College of Law Houston. She graduated from Spelman College and Harvard Law School.
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Legal Expert – professor, writer, former prosecutor.
Njeri Mathis Rutledge is a legal expert, professor, writer and former prosecutor. Before joining academia, she served as a prosecuting attorney for Harris County, one of the largest district attorney offices in the nation. Her experience as a professor, scholar, former judge and former prosecutor has given her a unique perspective on criminal law, criminal justice and reform. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Spelman College and her law degree from Harvard Law School.
During her years as a prosecutor, Professor Rutledge served in the Family Criminal Law Division, Juvenile Division, Misdemeanor and Felony divisions and has served first chair in a number of jury trials. In 2005 she became a law professor at South Texas College of Law Houston. In 2009 she was appointed to serve as an associate judge for the City of Houston, which included magistrate functions of reviewing search warrants, issuing emergency protective orders, and providing statutory warnings. She served in that role for twelve years until 2021. She frequently speaks and writes in the areas of race, domestic violence, employment law, criminal justice reform, constitutional law, crime victim compensation, and police brutality.
She began her legal career as a civil litigator specializing in labor and employment law in the Houston office of Baker Botts, a large international law firm. In addition to serving as a law professor, she is an Opinion Columnist for USA Today where she serves on the Board of Contributors and a fellowship coach with The OpEd Project. She grew up in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville. She is a member of Jack & Jill of America and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. When she is not teaching, judging, mothering, or cooking, she likes to go to the beach. She currently resides in Houston, Texas, with her family.