Judge Benita Y. Pearson

Judge Pearson

When then-President Barack Obama awarded Benita Y. Pearson her commission on December 27, 2010, she made history as the first African American woman to serve as a United States District Judge in the State of Ohio. For approximately two years prior to that date, she served the Northern District of Ohio as a United States Magistrate Judge.

A Cleveland native, Judge Pearson earned her B.S. in Accounting from Georgetown University in 1985. After working in multiple capacities for BP America, Judge Pearson attended and graduated from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law with her Juris Doctorate in 1995. Judge Pearson then served as a law clerk to the Honorable John Michael Manos for the Northern District of Ohio. After working at Jones Day as a litigation associate, Judge Pearson returned to public service by joining the United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Ohio. She managed several high profile cases there until her appointment as a United States Magistrate Judge in 2008.

Judge Pearson has taught Animal Law, Advanced Brief Writing and Oral Advocacy at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She is a certified public accountant. Her philanthropic interests include past service on the Board of Trustees and volunteering at the Eliza Bryant Village in Cleveland. She is a founding member and past president of the Nathaniel R. Jones Inn of Court.