Gisela T. Laurent always knew she wanted to become a Judge. From a young age, she listened to her father describe the importance of professional women and read children’s books that inspired her to become a leader within her community. In this week’s podcast Chief Judge Lauten speaks with the newly elected Judge Laurent about her journey to judgeship and her roots in the Pine Hills community, which shaped her life and has made her forever “Pine Hills Proud.” Throughout her career, she has been a pillar in the her community, participating in various programs that uplift many around her, including distributing backpacks and school supplies to children in need, teaching civics to elementary school students, and actively participating in the Hispanic Bar Association.
Judge Laurent was born in Cleveland, Ohio and moved with her family to the Pine Hills area at the age of 2. She graduated from Evans High School in 1994 before attending Valencia College for two years where she obtained an AA degree. In 1998, she earned a BA degree from the University of Florida, before earning her JD from the same institution in 2003. Laurent then returned to Central Florida to practice law, beginning as an assistant public defender in the Ninth Circuit and then transitioning to private practice.
In November 2016, she was the only judicial candidate in the Circuit to run unopposed and became the first Hispanic female Orange County court judge.