Judge Laura A. Cordero was appointed to the District of Columbia Superior Court in 2005. Judge Cordero was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and attended DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics in 1985, with highest honors. She earned her law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988.
Judge Cordero’s dedication to public service spans her legal career. Following graduation from law school, she served a two-year term as law clerk to the Honorable James A. Parker of the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. In 1991, Judge Cordero joined the Department of Justice under the Attorney General's Honor Law Graduate Program, where she was assigned to the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division. In 1993, Judge Cordero joined the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.
During her twelve-year tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney, she prosecuted a wide variety of criminal cases in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In 1999, she was assigned as the first Community Prosecutor stationed at the Metropolitan Police Department Third District, as part of the United States Attorney's Office city-wide Community Prosecution Program.
Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Cordero was the Executive Assistant United States Attorney for External Affairs. She was responsible for developing, coordinating and maintaining effective partnerships with federal and local law enforcement, government agencies and the community in the District of Columbia. She also coordinated an extensive community engagement network, involving a full range of community-based programs and initiatives for youth and adults specifically aimed at reducing violent crime in the District of Columbia.
As a community volunteer, Judge Cordero has served as an English tutor for Spanishspeaking victims of domestic violence, a tutor for students at Amidon Elementary School, and a facilitator for Project Legal Enrichment and Decision-Making (“Project LEAD”) at Marie Reed Learning Center.
Judge Cordero currently serves in the Civil Division where she presides over an array of cases including medical malpractice, tort, breach of contract, employment discrimination and real properties suits. She previously served in the Family Court, where she presided in cases involving abuse and neglect, adoptions, divorce, custody, child support, juvenile delinquency, juvenile drug court and involuntary civil commitments for person diagnosed with mental illness or mental retardation. Judge Cordero is a member of the Judicial Education Committee.