Hon. Annabelle Cortez

Adjunct Associate Professor of Law | Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

B.A., University of California, San Diego

J.D., University of California Law, San Francisco

Member, California State Bar

Joins Southwestern: 2024

Judge Annabelle Cortez was appointed to the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles in 2012 by Governor Edmund Brown. She is currently a site judge assigned to Dependency where she presides over DREAM Court (Dedication to Restoration through Empowerment, Advocacy, and Mentoring), a collaborative court that incorporates trauma-informed and harm reduction approaches in servicing children who have been the victims of commercial sexual exploitation and their families. She previously presided over a dedicated court serving families who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Before her appointment, Judge Cortez worked as a labor and employment attorney staffing the Judicial Council and providing legal support to courts in the seven Southern California Counties. She also provided legal support on issues involving court interpreters. Prior to this, Judge Cortez represented the United Farm Workers of America and other low wage workers in the areas of Labor, Employment, and Immigration law.

Judge Cortez has served on various court committees, including Access and Fairness, Community Outreach, Security, and Temporary Judges. Judge Cortez is involved in outreach efforts including by participating in Judges in the Classroom and engaging in high school career days to encourage youth to pursue a higher education. Judge Cortez received her B.A. from UC San Diego, and her J.D. from UC Law, San Francisco.