MEET JUDGE STEPHANIE PORTER

In the Community

Stephanie has always made sure to be an active presence within the community in every way possible. She was a "Swim Mom" in the Columbia Neighborhood Swim League (CNSL) for over 10 years, attending practices and cheering on her daughters during swim meets.

She was instrumental in organizing the Oakland Mills High School Career Fair, focused on connecting students with local employers and educating them about potential career paths, supporting a diverse pipeline of talent for the next generation of our workforce.

She helped found the Girls Program, a partnership between Howard County Public Schools and the Howard County Women’s Bar Association, which pairs female high school students with attorneys to help students achieve greatness by cultivating their desire to succeed while providing positive role models.

"I am not willing to complain about something, unless I am willing to do something about it"

Promoting Access to Justice

Stephanie helped found the Oakland Mills Mock Trial Team, which helps high school students considering careers in the law to learn about “real world” applications, combining legal education and competition to address legal and constitutional issues.

As a member of the Maryland Judiciary's Post-Covid Committee, she conveyed the needs of individuals who were not able to appear in person to help in learning how to conduct hearings remotely while ensuring participation for all parties in a fair and equitable way.

As part of the Maryland Judiciary’s Equal Justice Committee she worked to address critical issues faced by people in our judicial system every day, including ethnic disparities, systemic racism, implicit bias, and micro-aggressions.

"I believe that all litigants deserve respect, compassion, and a Judge with an open mind"

Path to the Bench

Stephanie received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from  the University of Vermont in 1993. Prior to pursuing her legal career, she worked in the mental health field as a rehab coordinator and crisis counselor for St. Luke's House in Bethesda, Maryland.

After graduating from the University of Baltimore Law School in 2000, she worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Kathleen G. Cox.

After her clerkship, she worked for 14 years as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore County, spending eight years working in the Sex Crimes Unit taking great care in helping sensitive witnesses navigate through the legal process.

In 2015, she became a Magistrate for the Howard County Circuit Court until being appointed Judge in 2022.