Open Ninth

Conversations Beyond the Courtroom.

Next Big Thing

Judge Gisela Laurent knew she would become a judge someday. It all started when she helped her mother translate legal documents as a child. She saw firsthand a need for legal representation in a community struggling with a language barrier, and it was her dream to become a helper for her community. Her goals led her to law school, the public defender’s office, private practice, the county court bench, and now the circuit bench. And, every step of the way she stayed true to her commitment to serve the community.

Listen in as she sits with Chief Judge Lisa Munyon and talks about her parents’ pursuit of the “American Dream” and what she has learned from being on the bench.


  • 00:15 – Introduction to Gisela Laurent
  • 09:44 – Practicing law after graduation
  • 14:06 – Defining cases in her career
  • 18:45 – Taking the county bench
  • 22:24 – Transition to the circuit bench
  • 28:41 – New adventure in the family division
  • 29:34 – Interesting facts about her
Open Ninth
Episode 130

Conversations Beyond the Courtroom.

Run time 37:27



In this episode

Chief Judge Lisa T. Munyon
Lisa T. Munyon

Chief Judge and Open Ninth host

Chief Judge Lisa T. Munyon has been a Judge with the Ninth Judicial Circuit for 18 years. She is the Ninth Circuit's first female Chief Judge.

Circuit Judge Gisela T. Laurent
Gisela T. Laurent

Circuit Judge

Judge Laurent took the Orange County Bench in January 2017 and was appointed to the Circuit Bench in 2020. She serves in the Domestic Division.