Judge JaPaul Harris

Minnesota Judicial Center
Court of Appeals
(651) 297-7650

Judge JaPaul Harris


​Appointed to the MN Court of Appeals on Mar. 18, 2024, by Governor Tim Walz. Current term expires Jan. 2026.

Appointed to Ramsey County District Court on July 11, 2018, by Governor Mark Dayton. Elected in 2020.


B.A., Syracuse University, 2000.
J.D., Hamline University School of Law, 2003.
University of Minnesota, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Policy Fellows Program (2007 - 2008)

Prior Legal Experience:

  • Judicial Referee, Hennepin County District Court (Fourth Judicial District)
    • Juvenile Court (2015- 2018);
    • Civil (Housing Court, Harassment Court 2012 – 2017);
    • Criminal (Petty Misdemeanor Court Trials 2012 – 2017);
    • Mental Health Civil Commitment April 2014 – 2016).
  • Adjunct Professor, William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline College of Law).
  • Managing/Supervising Attorney, Mid Minnesota Legal Aid.
  • Minneapolis Public School District.
  • Staff Attorney, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services.

Professional Membership:

  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota District Judges Association
  • American Judges Association

Current Professional and Community Activities:

  • Board Member, Criminal Defense Services, Inc.
  • Board Member, Volunteer Lawyers Network
  • Minnesota Supreme Committee for Equality and Justice:
    • Committee Member (January 2014 - Present);
    • Education Subcommittee Chair (September 2015 – Present)
  • Youth Athletics Coach, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation;

Past Professional and Community Activities:

  • National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts 2018 National Conference Planning Committee Education Subcommittee Co-Chair.
  • Former Committee Member, Fourth Judicial District Equal Justice Committee;
  • Former Member, Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI);
  • Saint Paul Earned Safe and Sick Leave Taskforce, Co-Chair;
  • Saint Paul Human Rights Commission:
    • Commission Chair (October 2010 – January 2018);
    • Commissioner February 2007 – October 2010)
  • Former Member of the Minnesota Supreme Court Racial Fairness Committee;
  • Former Member of the Minnesota State Board on Aging.