Judge Lillian Wan is the first Asian-American woman on the NY Court of Claims
Judge Lillian Wan was named as the first female Asian-American woman to serve on the New York Court of Claims when she was confirmed by the state Senate during a ceremony in Albany on June 20.
“She’s making history, history in this chamber, history in this state as the first Asian-American woman on the Court of Claims,” said state Sen. Jesse Hamilton at the confirmation.
Court of Claims judges serve a nine-year term and handle civil cases that are brought against New York and state-related agencies.
Judge Wan, who graduated from Binghamton University and Albany Law School, was initially appointed by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the Kings County Family Court. As a Family Court judge, she heard cases involving child custody, abuse, juvenile delinquency and family offenses. She also presided over the “crossover youth” part which involve children in the state’s child welfare system or foster care.
Before joining the bench, Judge Wan worked for the Administration for Children’s Services in the Family Court Legal Services Division. She also served as a court attorney-referee in the Kings County Surrogate’s Court.
Judge Wan is active in many of the local and state bar associations including the Brooklyn Bar Association, the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn, and the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY). She also sits on the board of directors of both the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and the New York State Family Court Judges Association.
“AABANY is immensely proud of Judge Wan,” said James Cho, AABANY president. “Her experience in the courtroom, compassion, and unwavering dedication make her an unparalleled candidate to serve as a judge on the Court of Claims.
“Judge Wan’s confirmation also reminds us of the progress we have made in advancing diversity and inclusion on the bench; Asian Pacific Americans and other minority communities continue to be underrepresented on the bench, but we are gratified to see that New York is appointing minority judges like Judge Wan,” Cho continued. “Her appointment marks a historic and significant step forward in making the judiciary more diverse and inclusive.”
There were seven other judges nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and confirmed by the state Senate including James McCarty, David L. Lewis, Joel M. Cohen, John Higgit, Chris Ann Kelley, Francis Kahn III and Michele Rodney.
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