Judge Donald R. Johnson is a lifelong resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1977, he graduated from Southern University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. In 1982, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert School of Law.
Immediately after graduation, he worked as an Assistant District Attorney with the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office. During this period, he opened a private law office until his election to the City Court of Baton Rouge in 1999. In 2006, he was elected to the 19th Judicial District Court where he has served on all divisions of court. Currently, he serves on the Civil Court.
Judge Johnson holds a firm conviction that education is the key to his success. In addition to his law, degree he has continued his pursuit of higher education with degrees from many prestigious universities around the country. In December 2006, he received a Master of Criminal Justice degree from Loyola University of New Orleans. In August 2008, he received a Master of Justice Management from the University of Nevada at Reno. In December 2009, he received his Master of Judicial Studies from the University of Nevada at Reno, the National Judicial College. He obtained a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice Administration with a doctorial minor in statistics from the University of Southern Mississippi in May 2014. Most recently, Judge Johnson achieved a doctorate in philosophy with a major in judicial studies from the University of Nevada, Reno in December of 2018.
Judge Johnson has received certifications in many areas including, but not limited to, Classroom Management Skills, Grading and Evaluation, Collaborative Learning, Effective Facilitation of Learning, Judicial Philosophy and American Law, Judicial Development Dispute Resolution Skills, General Jurisdiction Trial Skill, Special Court Trial Skills, Planning and Presenting Effective Presentations, SPSS Training and Education Services, Grading Confidentiality and FERPA Regulations.
Judge Johnson has served as facilitator of Criminal Justice at The University of Phoenix where he taught Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, Contemporary Issues, and Futures in Criminal Justice. He has taught “Co-Occurring Mental and Substance Abuse Disorders” and “Conducting the Trial” at the National Judicial College to help judges around the nation to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities to fairly adjudicate citizens, particularly those with disabilities. Judge Johnson has encouraged a high degree of student involvement using an interactive teaching style, to explain all aspects of trial procedure.
Judge Johnson has received numerous honors and awards. These include the Black History Pioneer Award, the Distinguished Community Service Award, Honorary Secretary of State of Louisiana, and the Gus Young Non-Violence Committee Humanitarian Award. In August 2018, Judge Johnson was awarded the William R. McMahon Award from the American Bar Association for significant implementation and development in the use of technological advances in a court of limited jurisdiction.
Judge Johnson is available for public speaking engagements at service organizations, churches, prisons, and community centers. Inquiries can be made to his office if there is an interest in facilitating a conversation on matters such as criminal law, criminal procedure, criminal justice reform, contemporary legal issues, future opportunities in criminal justice, ethics, trial advocacy, the adjudication of citizens with mental and substance abuse disorders, traffic court sanctions, and safe driving education.