Term Ends: 2026
Judge Karelia Rachelle Stewart is a 1997 honor graduate from Caddo Parish Magnet High School in Shreveport Louisiana. She went on to attend Dillard University in New Orleans Louisiana where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. Judge Stewart obtained her Juris Doctorate Degree from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law in 2004 and licensed to practice in Louisiana in 2006.
Judge Stewart went on to be an Assistant District Attorney for the Parish of Caddo for eight years. She successfully tried hundreds of juvenile cases, felony bench and jury trials. At the time of her departure, she was Section Chief of the Drug Division and was very instrumental in reviving the rehabilitation program of Drug Court and implementing a Veterans Court.
In August of 2014, Judge Stewart was elected without opposition to Section I, Division D of the First Judicial District Court. By order of the Louisiana Supreme Court she took the bench in her official capacity on October 1, 2014. Judge Karelia R. Stewart made history on that day with the following distinctions: she is the youngest female elected without opposition at 35 ever to serve on the First Judicial District Court; she is the second ever African -American female elected to the court; and the first African American second generation to serve on the court. Judge Stewart was elected to the same seat previously held by her father, Judge Carl E. Stewart, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court and her uncle, Judge James E. Stewart Sr. of the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeals. All Stewart judges took the bench at age 35.
Judge Stewart is actively involved in her community. In addition to her work schedule she also enjoys teaching Real Estate Law as an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.
Judge Stewart has received numerous accolades and awards for her contributions to the profession. She was most recently selected by her colleagues and peers to receive the Honorable Michaelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award. She received this award for her commitment and dedication to upholding the quality and integrity of the legal profession and consideration toward her peers and the general public. Additionally, she was honored by the National Bar Association as a recipient oi one of the nation’s 40 under 40 Best Advocates Award and the Excellence in Leadership Award.