Jennifer Dorow, Waukesha Judge: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

jennifer dorow

Headshot/Facebook Judge Jennifer Dorow

Jennifer Dorow is a Waukesha County Circuit Judge in Wisconsin who is presiding over the trial of Darrell Brooks in the Waukesha Christmas parade attack.

Dorow has allowed Brooks to represent himself in the attack that left six people dead, including children, and 62 people wounded. Brooks is accused of plowing a car into the parade in the City of Waukesha, a suburban community near Milwaukee, on November 21, 2021. He was charged with 77 counts, including six counts of first-degree murder in the attack.

You can read the criminal complaint here.

Who is Judge Jennifer Dorow?

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Dorow & Brooks Have Had Some Tense Moments in Court

Brooks has repeatedly interrupted Dorow in court. She said in one video that Brooks’ mother had written her a letter indicating she was concerned that Brooks was making the wrong decision about representing himself in court.

Three of the four doctors diagnosed Brooks with a personality disorder, Dorow began to explain, justifying her decision to let Brooks act as his own lawyer. Brooks began to interrupt her.

“Mr. Brooks, don’t interrupt me,” she said.

“Not right now. You can ask when I’m done,” she said, as Brooks continued trying to interject.

“Mr. Brooks let me get through this. It’s really important I made a record…” she said as he kept trying to talk.

“Stop talking and listen because you’re going to get the answer. You’ve got to listen.”

Brooks continued to interrupt.

According to Fox11 News, Dorow told Brooks: “This court has warned Mr. Brooks what he’s getting into.” He has no legal training and, while he has the personality disorder, she said the experts found he was articulate and intelligent enough to serve as his own lawyer, Fox reported.


2. Dorow Was First Appointed to the Bench by Republican Governor Scott Walker

Jennifer Dorow has been a Waukesha judge since 2012, according to her Waukesha biography page.

According to Ballotpedia, Republican Governor Scott Walker “appointed her in December 2011 and she was sworn in and re-elected the following year. Her term expires in 2018.”

Jennifer Dorow worked as a prosecutor before becoming a judge. She was an assistant district attorney in the Waukesha County district attorney’s office, according to Ballotpedia.


3. Dorow Is Married to Husband Brian, Who Has Worked for Homeland Security & the Waukesha Police Department

Judge Dorow is married to Brian Dorow, who has worked for Homeland Security. He is a former law enforcement officer. The couple has children.

His LinkedIn page says Dorow’s husband is “Chief Homeland Security Enterprise Advisor” for Mitre, in McLean, Virginia.

“The Mitre Corporation is working to solve some of the nation’s biggest challenges in defense, cyber security, healthcare, homeland security, the judiciary and transportation. Furthermore, Mitre’s mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world,” his page says.

brian dorow

LinkedInBrian Dorow

“Through our public-private partnerships and federally funded R&D centers, we work across government and in partnership with industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation.”

Before that, he was president and CEO of a Waukesha-based security company, a deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C., dean of the Criminal Justice, Homeland Security and County Terrorism program at Waukesha County Technical College, and a police supervisor at the City of Waukesha Police Department.

He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


4. Dorow, Who Attended Marquette University, Serves as Chief Judge

One interesting fact about Dorow is that she has an identical twin sister.

Judge Dorow “earned her B.A. from Marquette University and her J.D. from Regent University,” according to Ballotpedia.

According to Patch, Dorow also worked as a defense attorney in addition to being a prosecutor.

Dorow serves as a chief judge for District Three, which includes Dodge, Jefferson, Ozaukee, Waukesha, and Washington counties, in Wisconsin, according to a newsletter from the Wisconsin Court System.


5. Dorow Once Said Prayer Helped Her Seek the Walker Appointment

According to Patch, when she was appointed to the bench by Walker, Dorow noted the importance of prayer.

“I am thankful that through the years, many of you in this room have prayed for me diligently. Please, continue to do so,” Dorow said, according to Patch. “I am reminded of a verse from Micah, ‘He has shown you, oh man, what is good. What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’”

She was praised by fellow judges at that time. “She understand people, she understands law and she is able to merge those two,” said Judge Michael Bohren, also on the bench in Waukesha County, according to Patch.

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