Judy Perry Martinez of Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn in New Orleans is president of the American Bar Association, the world's largest voluntary professional organization with more than 400,000 members.
Over the past 35 years, Martinez has held various leadership positions with the ABA, including chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which evaluates all nominees to the federal bench. Earlier, she served as the ABA’s lead representative to the United Nations and as a member of the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee.
She also has served on numerous ABA committees dealing with critical issues in law and society. She served as chair of the ABA’s Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services and its Commission on Domestic Violence. She was a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the ABA Task Force on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System, and the Council of the ABA Center on Diversity.
Between 2003 and 2015, while at Northrop Grumman Corporation, Martinez served as assistant general counsel-litigation before becoming vice president and chief compliance officer in 2011. After retiring from the aerospace technology industry, she spent a year as a fellow in residence at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. Martinez returned to Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, where she had worked as a commercial litigator from 1982 to 2003, rising to partner and member of the management committee.
Martinez has held several leadership positions within the New Orleans and Louisiana State Bar Associations, and she served on the board of the Innocence Project-New Orleans, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and as an officer of the World Justice Project. She also has served as a Distinguished Access to Justice Pro Bono Fellow for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.
Among her various honors, Martinez received the Sam Dalton Capital Defense Advocacy Award from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Counsel, the Distinguished Attorney Award from the Louisiana Bar Foundation, the Alliance for Justice Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association, and the Michelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award from the Association of Women Attorneys. She was honored in 2017 with the Louisiana State Bar Association’s David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the New Orleans Bar Association’s Presidents’ Award.
She is a member of the board of directors of the American Bar Foundation, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Louisiana Bar Foundation, and a member of the American Law Institute.
Martinez earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans and her juris doctor, with honors, from Tulane Law School.