New York City

Upcoming event: Pride in the judiciary with Judge Pamela Chen

June 24, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Judge Pamela K. Chen, the first openly LGBTQ+ Asian American federal judge serving on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, will be speaking at the LGBT Bar NY event on June 25, 2024. Photo courtesy of LGBT Bar Association of New York
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On Tuesday, the LGBT Bar Association of New York will host an event titled “Pride in the Judiciary: A Conversation with Judge Pamela Chen.” The event, co-sponsored by the Puerto Rican Bar Association, will take place on Tuesday, June 25, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Michelman & Robinson, LLP.

Judge Pamela K. Chen, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York, will be the featured speaker. The conversation will be moderated by Nicole Haff, Esq. Attendees can look forward to an engaging dialogue on the importance of diversity and inclusion within the judiciary.

Doors will open at 6:00 p.m., with the program starting at 6:30 p.m. Michelman & Robinson, LLP will provide drinks and light refreshments for attendees.

This event presents a unique opportunity for members of the legal community and the public to hear from a distinguished judge and gain valuable insights into the role of the judiciary in promoting equality and justice.

Judge Chen holds the distinction of being the first openly LGBTQ+ Asian-American person to serve on the federal bench.

Judge Chen received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in 1983 and her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 1986. She began her legal career at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C., where she worked from 1986 to 1989. She then joined the criminal defense firm Asbill, Junkin, Myers & Buffone, where she practiced from 1989 to 1991.

From 1991 to 1998, Judge Chen served as a trial attorney in the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1998, she became an assistant U.S. attorney in the EDNY. During her tenure there, she held several key supervisory roles, including chief of the Civil Rights Section and deputy chief of the Public Integrity Section. She also briefly served as deputy commissioner for enforcement for the New York State Division of Human Rights in 2008.

On August 2, 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Chen to the U.S. District Court for the EDNY, a seat vacated by Judge Raymond Dearie. Her nomination, recommended by Sen. Chuck Schumer, proceeded through the Senate Judiciary Committee and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 4, 2013. She received her judicial commission the following day.

Following this event, LGBT Bar NY will host “Litigating LGBTQ+ Discrimination Cases in New York” on Wednesday, June 26, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Sponsored by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, this CLE program, presented in collaboration with Legal Services NYC, will offer strategies and guidance on identifying and litigating discrimination claims under city, state, and federal law. The program will be followed by a reception with drinks and light bites.

Additionally, on Sunday, June 30, LGBT Bar NY invites members and supporters to join them for the NYC Pride March. The exact meetup location and time will be announced via email prior to the event. Participants will receive T-shirts at the meetup location, available on a first-come, first-serve basis. While it is free to march, contributions are encouraged to help offset the cost of the Pride shirts.

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