‘Color of Justice’ program presented at Brooklyn Criminal Court

April 7, 2014 By Charisma L. Miller, Esq. Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) and the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association (BWBA) joined with legal research company LexisNexis to present  “Color of Justice,” a program created by NAWJ and designed to expose high school girls to courts and the legal system with the hope of encouraging them to attend law school and/or pursue careers in the law.

The Saturday event included two panels allowing for the discussion of careers in the legal field and an in-depth overview of how female judges of color have made a significant difference within and throughout the justice system.

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The “Law as a Career — Preparing the Way” panel was included law students and practicing attorneys, including Paula T. Edgar, Esq,, chief diversity officer and admissions specialist at New York Law School; Susanna Rojas, Esq., clerk of the court, Appellate Division, First Department; Joy A. Thompson, Esq., deputy commissioner of the Public Administrator, New York County; and Brooklyn Law School students Emmanuel Fashakin Jr. and Leanne Welds.  

Sharing anecdotes of their backgrounds, Hon. L. Priscilla Hall (Appellate Division, Second Department); Hon. Eleanora Ofshtein (Brooklyn Housing Court); Hon. Ruth Shillingford (Brooklyn Supreme Court, Criminal Term); Hon. Carolyn Wade (Brooklyn Supreme Court, Civil Term); and Hon. Lillian Wan (Brooklyn Family Court)—all of diverse ethnic backgrounds—explained roads that led to a career in law and a seat on the judicial bench.

Twenty young female students from the Brooklyn Institute of Liberal Arts High School, located in Crown Heights, participated in the program and were given a unique opportunity to have one-on-one mentoring sessions with judges, lawyers and law students.

Brooklyn judges Shillingford, Hon. Joanne D. Quinones and Hon. Betty J. Williams coordinated the March Color of Justice program.

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