Judge Jenkins learned to practice law in Orleans Parish. Her practice area for 23 years was primarily criminal law. She spent 18 years between Tulane and Broad in the courtrooms of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court and Camp Street in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Three of her eighteen years was as an Assistant District Attorney, and her final 15 years of practice was as a criminal defense attorney.
As an assistant district attorney, Judge Jenkins tried over 100 misdemeanor and felony jury and judge trials in the Juvenile and Trial Divisions including a capital offense. During her tenure in the District Attorney’s office, she served as Senior Trial Assistant and General Screener. She successfully returned a Grand Jury indictment in a multiple defendant rape of a mentally challenged 14-year-old. Judge Jenkins was also responsible for pre-trial writ practice in cases assigned to her for trial.
Immediately following her service as an Assistant District Attorney, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal hired Judge Jenkins as a member of its Central Staff. As a staff attorney, she reviewed pro se writ applications, criminal appeals and applications for post-conviction relief.
After her tenure with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, Judge Jenkins was appointed by the Eastern District, pursuant to 18 U.S.C § 3006A, to represent indigents. Judge Jenkins spent over 14 years, representing clients charged with drug offenses, property crimes, gun/weapons violations and violent crimes. Additionally, she received special appointments to represent Juveniles transferred to adult status and charged with violations of federal criminal statutes.
Judge Jenkins’ history as an appellate counsel continued with her contract employment with the Louisiana Appellate Project (LAP). LAP provides appellate counsel for indigents on direct appeal. Judge Jenkins represented indigents for the parishes of Jefferson and Orleans.
While an associate attorney at the law firm of Scheuermann and Jones, one of Judge Jenkins’ responsibilities was the representation of the District Attorney as respondent to Petitions for Habeas Corpus under 28 US Code 2254 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the in U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
As a solo practitioner Judge Jenkins’ practice area was predominately criminal law. She represented clients as a trial attorney and appellate counsel in courts across the State of Louisiana, U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Jenkins civil practice area included personal injury, wills and successions, and representation of Veterans. She was certified as a VA accredited attorney for the purpose of assisting in the preparation and presentation of VA benefit claims.
In 2005, in response to Hurricane Katrina, Judge Jenkins relocated to Atlanta, Georgia and worked as a contract attorney for various temporary attorney agencies. She enjoyed a limited practice in Louisiana between 2005 and 2010. Upon her return to New Orleans, she began rebuilding her practice until elected to the bench, November 6, 2012.
Judge Jenkins was a part of this personal injury and maritime firm for over a decade.
Judge Jenkins currently serves on the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal. This court’s jurisdiction includes Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes. She has authored hundreds of Civil and Criminal opinions since her election on November 6, 2012.