Judge Karen Mills-Francis

Published December 15, 2010

Judge Karen Mills-Francis is a television personality and published author with a colorful and engaging style that is as distinctive as her bold burgundy robe and her bright blonde hair. As quick to aid the helpless as she is to dismiss the hare-brained, Judge Karen confidently dishes out justice before a television audience with her nationally syndicated courtroom series, “Judge Karen’s Court.” 

Born and raised in Miami, Fla., Judge Karen was the oldest of five ambitious children and she graduated as the valedictorian of her high school class. Judge Karen completed her undergraduate education at the prestigious Bowdoin College in Maine on a full scholarship and she spent summers studying at the University of Wisconsin and University of Minnesota.  After graduation, she worked in the public welfare sector training and helping welfare recipients to gain employment.  She graduated from the Levin School of Law at the University of Florida in 1987. 
Judge Karen practiced criminal defense law in Miami for 13 years in the Office of the Public Defender, as well as in private practice. Driven by the lack of diversity in the court system, Judge Karen decided to run for a judgeship in 2000, winning her first election by overthrowing a longtime incumbent and becoming the second Black woman to serve on the bench in Miami-Dade County.
Judge Karen is an avid child advocate who profiles missing children on her Facebook page. She lectures around the country on family issues, specifically concerns of women and children.

Written by BET-Staff


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