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  • Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of New York

    • My first role upon passing the New York State Bar.

    • It was a big job for a new lawyer and I had a lot to learn. I am thankful that I had this opportunity early in my career to spend time working inside the courtroom. I loved the formality, rules, and procedures of court, and this is when I first began dreaming of the possibilities of becoming a judge.

  • Town Attorney for Lancaster, New York

    • As Will and I began our family, I accepted the role of Town Attorney for Lancaster, NY.

  • Parents’ Attorney on the Dependency, Neglect, and Abuse Docket in Family Court Div. 9 - Louisville, KY

    • I once again found myself working inside the courtroom, but this time on the defense side.

    • It was often difficult to deal with the emotional subject matter of these cases, but professionally it was fascinating to work the other side of the issue from my previous work. 

  • Thompson, Miller, & Simpson - Louisville, KY 

  • McMasters, Keith, Butler - Louisville, KY ​
    • This was a new and exciting challenge because I had never worked in a civil practice before.

    • This role introduced me to the world of medical malpractice defense work.

  • Interim Director of Academic Success, UofL Brandeis Law School

    • Despite being an interim position, my passion for learning drove me to jump into this opportunity ​​

    • It was very rewarding to work directly with law students and immerse myself back in the law school coursework. It was a position I could have seen myself staying in for a long time, in the moment I was disappointed that I was not offered the permanent position. However, it worked out better in the long run because I then found my way to the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.

  • Jefferson County Attorney’s Office - Louisville, KY

    • ​I spent seven years as a prosecutor in District Court with the County Attorney’s Office (2013-2020), working five years in felony/misdemeanor and two years on the Dependency, Neglect, and Abuse docket, literally handling thousands of cases.

    • In my work there, I learned first hand how absolutely essential it is to treat everyone in the court system—attorneys, defendants, victims, witnesses, law enforcement, court personnel, and judges— fairly and respectfully, while also holding them accountable.

    • A large percentage of the people who pass through District Court are affected by poverty, addiction, and/or mental illness; therefore, it is vital to be knowledgeable about the court resources and alternative resolutions to cases.

"Simply put, working as a prosecutor every day in District Court can be a hectic and frenzied experience, but I believe it is the best possible training a new judge could have. I know that District Court, for all of its shortcomings, is a vital beacon affecting the safety and lawfulness of our community. As a District Court judge, I will be an active voice for the betterment of court processes and for all of Jefferson County." 

-Mary Jude Wolford


All of my life, I have loved learning and finding new experiences. I'm a proud product of the Louisville Catholic school system, having graduated from Sacred Heart Academy and Ascension Catholic school in Hikes Point. The solid educational foundation and work ethic I developed through the Catholic school system and my parents provided me with the opportunity to earn a partial scholarship to Vanderbilt University, my dream school. At Vanderbilt, I made friends from all over the country and had experiences that broadened my world.

After college, I accepted a position at an advertising agency in Louisville, but the urge to go to law school was intense. I decided to see if I had what it took, so I applied and was accepted to the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.  Although the first year was a tremendous amount of work, I loved the subject matter and even the sometimes terrifying classroom discussions. I knew I had found my niche.


During my first year of law school, I became engaged to my longtime boyfriend, Will Wolford. We got married at the end of the school year, and I transferred law schools to the State University of New York in Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo), where he played professional football for the Buffalo Bills. I graduated from SUNY Buffalo School of Law and achieved one of my proudest accomplishments—I passed the formidable New York State Bar on the first try.

All these years later, I still love learning and trying new things. I believe my diverse educational and personal background has prepared me to serve our community as a Jefferson County District Court Judge.

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