Judge French graduated from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey in 1976, and the University of California, Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, California in 1984. In the years between earning her bachelor’s degree and her law degree, Judge French earned a Paralegal Certificate from Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey, and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from Long Island University, Brooklyn Center in New York. Judge French was an Adjunct Professor at Camden County College in Blackwood, New Jersey for 7 years prior to becoming a Judge. She taught Sociology of Family and Social Problems.
As an attorney, Judge French represented injured workers, employers, insurance carriers and a municipality; each in the context of their respective interests in workers’ compensation claims. The Honorable Ingrid L. French, J.W.C. practiced law in the workers’ compensation courts throughout the State of New Jersey for more than 15 years prior to becoming a Judge. On March 20, 2008 she became the first African-American female Judge of Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey and only the 5th African-American Judge of Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey since 1911.
As a Judge of Workers’ Compensation, she is responsible for insuring that all employers in New Jersey comply with New Jersey’s Workers Compensation Statute. Each day, Judge French handles an average list of 70 claims. Workers Compensation courts do not have juries, as a result, Judge French is both a trier of fact and the law. All settlements in workers’ compensation claims must be approved by the Judge. Trials in the workers’ compensations courts can take place over a myriad of issues; including, but not limited to whether the injury occurred out of, and in the course of employment or the value of a claimant’s injuries. All of Judge French’s decisions are final and must be appealed to the Appellate Division of the State’s Judiciary Branch.
Today, she enjoys a good working relationship with Rutgers University, Camden School of Law; and she is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Widener University Law School; where she teaches Workers ’ Compensation Law.