Out of four judicial races in Louisiana this year, every candidate running in the March 25 election is a woman. A Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University study, authored by Sally Kenney, finds even though the Bayou State ranks fairly low when it comes to women in the legislature.

“Women are doing relatively well in judicial positions, holding about 30% of all state and federal judges in the state.”

The study finds that in 2016, 31-percent of judges in the Louisiana were women, up from 27-percent in 2011. Kenney says in three out of the four races, a female candidate will replace a male. She says the numbers look good in the state as a whole, but that masks the lack of female leadership outside of East Baton Rouge and Orleans.

“In the rest of Louisiana, there isn’t as much racial and gender diversity in the bench but even so having women take their rightful place on the bench is good news in those two parishes.”

Allison Penzato was elected during qualifying to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals and the other seats on the ballot are the 3rd and 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Civil District Court in New Orleans. Kenney says seeing more women run for these positions and winning is a great motivator to get other females interested in filling these seats.

“We have great leadership with the Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court and I think that sends a message to everyone that you can run and win in Louisiana.”