In 2002, Lori A. Dumas was sworn in as a Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas Judge. She was one of the youngest judges to serve in the Philadelphia Courts. She has served in the Family Court – Juvenile Division, Criminal Division and is currently assigned to the Civil Division. She has presided over thousands of cases, including both jury and non-jury trials.
Judge Dumas has spent her life overcoming the odds to prepare herself for a life of service to others. Her resilience and passion for people was inspired by her mother, a single, uneducated factory worker who returned to school, attained her diploma and a college degree, and then became a teacher in the later years of her life.
Growing up in Philadelphia with meager means, determination to do more and be better became her mantra. Judge Dumas was a stellar student in both public and parochial schools. In spite of having to supplement the financial aid that she received with various jobs, she completed Duke University and North Carolina Central School of Law with Honors.
Judge Dumas returned to Philadelphia with her law degree and opened a neighborhood law practice where she handled various types of cases for everyday working people. She was proud to serve her neighbors and did so with the utmost professionalism and zeal for justice. It was through these experiences that Judge Dumas sharpened her legal skill set and the words “And Justice for All” became even clearer.
Over the course of nearly two decades of service on the Bench, Judge Dumas significantly impacted many lives through her fair and just decisions which were always rooted in the law and clothed in compassion. Her commitment to the citizens of Philadelphia is personified through her extensive contributions to women, children, and victims through many innovative initiatives which she led.
While serving in Family Court, Judge Dumas established herself as an innovative leader in guiding the City of Philadelphia in its creation of the First Judicial District’s Juvenile Human Trafficking Court, which provided services to youth that had been victims of commercial exploitation. She led many of the initiatives that were created to enhance the work of the court and to ensure that system children were the beneficiaries of some of the most innovative and effective services to lead them to success.
In the community, Judge Dumas seizes every opportunity to educate her fellow jurists and other stakeholders about human trafficking victim’s trauma and the Court’s role as a change agent in the lives of vulnerable children. Judge Dumas also serves as the local Chair of a national anti-violence program that uses literacy as a therapeutic tool to assist youth who have been traumatized by violence.
Judge Dumas has been privileged to serve the citizens of Philadelphia. She now would like the honor of serving all Pennsylvanians from a seat on the Commonwealth Court.