Barbara S. Jones has paved new paths within the legal profession throughout her career, starting as a federal prosecutor and later as a federal judge in the Southern District of New York. She currently is a partner at Bracewell LLP, where she provides advice and leadership on internal investigations, compliance programs, monitorships, arbitrations and mediations.
Jones spent more than 20 years of her career working as a prosecutor. She began as a special attorney in the Honors Program of the U.S. Department of Justice, working in the organized crime unit of the Criminal Division. She later served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she was the first woman ever appointed as chief of a Department of Justice Organized Crime Strike Force. She went on to serve as the Chief Assistant to the late New York County District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau.
Jones was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1995 to serve as a district court judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. During her 17 years on the bench, Jones presided over a range of high‐profile cases, including Edith Windsor’s suit against the United States challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. The case ultimately found its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld Jones’ ruling on Windsor’s behalf.
In 2013, shortly after she began her career in private practice, Jones was appointed by the Secretary of Defense to chair a nine‐person Congressional panel that conducted a 12‐month review and assessment of the systems used by the military to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate crimes involving sexual assault and harassment. She has since advised a range of companies and institutions on workplace misconduct issues, including the University of Michigan, Signet Jewelers, New York Philharmonic and the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, to name but a few.