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Toddrick Barnette

Adjunct Faculty and Chief Judge, 4th Judicial District

  • Education
  • J.D., University of Minnesota,

    B.A., George Washington University

Judge Toddrick S. Barnette was raised by his mother and grandmother as an only child in the Anacostia neighborhood in Southeast Washington, D.C., an area widely known for its crushing poverty and devastating crime.

Judge Barnette attended an elementary Catholic School a few city blocks from his grandmother's house. For high school, Judge Barnette traveled an hour on public transportation to attend DeMatha Catholic High School located in Hyattsville Maryland, just a few miles from the University of Maryland.

After high school, Judge Barnette commuted from his home to The George Washington University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and sociology. At GWU, he was particularly engaged in the Educational Opportunity Program, an enrichment and tutoring program designed to foster students of color. Following graduation, Judge Barnette considered pursuing a graduate degree in criminal justice, but on the advice of mentors decided to go to law school.

Judge Barnette attended The University of Minnesota Law School, where he earned his juris doctorate. During law school, Judge Barnette worked for the Hennepin County Public Defender's Office as a law clerk. After graduation, he joined the Hennepin County Public Defender's Office as an attorney. He handled a variety of misdemeanor and felony cases, and spent a significant portion of his career handling juvenile delinquency and child protection cases. From 2001 to 2004, Judge Barnette was the senior attorney supervisor in the Drug Court Unit.

After 14 years with the Hennepin County Public Defender's Office, Judge Barnette joined the Hennepin County Attorney's Office as a senior assistant county attorney in the Juvenile Division. There, he prosecuted all types of delinquency cases. He had a special focus on certification of juveniles as adults and “extended jurisdiction juvenile” cases. Judge Barnette was also responsible for the Criminal Sexual Conduct Team within the Juvenile Division.

On February 6, 2006, Judge Barnette was appointed to the Hennepin County Judicial District Court. He served as the Presiding Judge of Drug Court for two years. He also has twice served as the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division. Judge Barnette is currently the Assistant Chief Judge. He was elected to this position by his collogues in 2016 and 2018.