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Hon. Laura Johnson

Presiding Judge

38th Judicial Circuit


Judge Johnson graduated from Missouri State University with a B.S. in finance magna cum laude, in 1985 and from Southern Methodist University School of Law, J.D. cum laude in 1988. She clerked from 1988-1990 for Judge Elmo B. Hunter, federal district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. 

After a brief stint with Stinson, Mag & Fizzell in Kansas City, Judge Johnson practiced at Ellis, Ellis, Hammons & Johnson, PC in Springfield, Missouri from 1991-2014.  She took the bench on Jan. 1, 2015 and oversees the drug, DWI and veterans treatment courts in addition to a full civil, criminal and family law docket. 

Judge Johnson is vice-president of the Circuit Judges’ Association, chair of the Remote Proceedings Workgroup, a member of the Commission for the Retirement, Removal and Discipline of Judges, and serves on the State Judicial Records Committee, the Civic Education Committee, and the Board of Examiners for Certified Court Reporters.