Mary Hotard Becnel

Mary Hotard Becnel is a retired judge from the Fortieth Judicial District Court of Louisiana. She attended the University of New Orleans and graduated from Loyola University College of Law. Entering the legal system as an official court reporter she was inspired to attend law school, after which she practiced law prior to her judicial election. From 1993 through 2016 she served as a general jurisdiction judge where she also instituted outreach programs such as Truancy Court and Charm School for at-risk juvenile girls.

Judge Becnel has been elected president of the 40th Judicial District Court Bar Association, the Fifth Circuit Judges Association, the Fourth and Fifth Judges Association, and she is a former member of the Executive Board of the Louisiana District Judges Association. She served on the board of the National Association of Women Judges, co-chaired the 2013 national conference in New Orleans and is currently on the Resource Board. She is also a founding member of the River Region Arts and Humanities Council, served as president and continues to serve on the board.

Judge Becnel has been recognized by the National Association of Social Workers – Louisiana as Public Official of the Year and is a recipient of the Mattie Belle Davis award from the National Association of Women Judges. In gratitude to Loyola University for her and her husband’s legal education, she assisted in the establishment of Loyola’s Trial Advocacy Center. She considers her greatest honor to be her public service to her community and state as a judge.