Serena R. Murillo


Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Civil Division


Serena Murillo is a Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court currently assigned to the Civil Division. She has also served in the court’s Criminal and Appellate Divisions, and as a Justice pro tem on the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District.

Judge Murillo serves as faculty for both the California Judicial Council’s Center for Judicial Education and Research and the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Judicial Education Seminars specializing in Search & Seizure, Pretrial Detention Reform, and Judicial Demeanor. In 2018 the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court honored her with the Award for Exemplary Service and Leadership to the judicial branch for her work on pretrial detention reform.

Judge Murillo is a co-chair of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Latino Judicial Officers Association (LJOA), is a member of the California Latino Judges Association (CLJA), the Mexican American Bar Association (MABA) and is a long-time volunteer at the Hollenbeck Youth Center in Boyle Heights. She was awarded the “Amigo de los Niños Award,” by the Hollenbeck Youth Center and Inner-City Games in 2019 for her volunteer work with the group. She is a former member of the California State Bar’s Commission for Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE), and since 2007, has contributed as a panelist for numerous bar associations on issues pertaining to implicit bias, intersectionality, and diversity on the bench.

Judge Murillo attended Brown University and the University of California, San Diego where she played NCAA Basketball and earned a B.A. in Political Science. She earned her law degree from Loyola Law School where she served on the board of the Public Interest Law Foundation. After law school, she worked as an attorney at McNicholas & McNicholas prior to being hired by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. She served as a prosecutor in Los Angeles for seventeen years, tried numerous cases, and served in the appellate division arguing matters before the California Court of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She was also a founding member of the Latino Prosecutor’s Association and Latino Prosecutor’s Foundation.

Judge Murillo was born in Pomona, California, and spent her pre-adult life in and around her hometown of Chino where she attended public schools through high school. Her father came to the United States from Zacatecas, Mexico as a migrant farm laborer working in the central valley of California until the family found a more permanent home in Chino. She is fluent in Spanish.