Judge Jennifer Kinsley

Judge Jennifer Kinsley joined the Court in February 2023 after a long career practicing and teaching in the areas of constitutional law, civil rights, and criminal legal reform.

A graduate of the Duke University School of Law and the University of Florida, she began her career as a juvenile public defender at the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office.  She then entered private practice, where she developed a national reputation as a First Amendment and civil rights attorney, often providing free legal services to underserved clients in cases that drove systemic change.  Judge Kinsley’s work on behalf of incarcerated and wrongfully silenced people has been highlighted in major news outlets across the country, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC Nightly News, and Kim Kardashian’s The Justice Project documentary on the Oxygen Network. 

For a decade, Judge Kinsley taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law before joining the Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law full-time faculty.  She earned early tenure there, teaching classes in constitutional law, criminal law, and practical lawyering skills and publishing research in leading law journals on the intersection of speech, psychology, and crime.  Her teaching has literally spanned the globe, as she has trained judges in Turkey and lawyers in Russia and Poland on the American right of free speech and related constitutional traditions.  She continues to serve as a member of the NKU Chase College of Law faculty and to teach law school courses there.

Judge Kinsley is a proponent of the community and regularly commits her time in service to others.  She has previously served on the boards of local arts and social services agencies and frequently serves meals to those experiencing food insecurity.  Before becoming a judge, she held leadership positions in national legal organizations, including the First Amendment Lawyers Association and the National Association for Public Defense.

In her free time, Judge Kinsley enjoys running, music, word games, college sports (Go Gators!), and the Cincinnati culinary scene.  She welcomes the opportunity to speak to community and school-based groups about the work of the court.