January 11, 2007
The St. John’s University School of Law will host a public
legislative forum entitled: “A Lasting Blueprint for Judicial
Diversity” on Thursday January 18, 2007 at 10 a.m. in the Belson
Moot Court Room at the University’s Queens Campus. The public forum
is being coordinated by New York State Senator Malcolm A. Smith
(14th SD- Queens) and members of the New York State Legislature to
raise awareness and discuss constructive solutions to increase
judicial diversity at all levels.
Featured expert testimony from members of the NYS Legislature,
the legal community, academia, civil rights leaders and St. John’s
Law Professor Leonard Baynes, Director of The Ronald H. Brown
Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development will discuss the
urgent need for greater judicial diversity in New York.
The forum, which is the second in a Statewide Series, looks to
promote, support and ensure the development of a robust and diverse
cadre of jurists at the trial and appellate levels of the New York
State Court System. Governor Elliot Spitzer will make three
appointments to the Court of Appeals in his first eighteen months
in office: a powerful opportunity to recast the high court bench
into a model of judicial diversity with far-reaching impact and
appeal all across the state.
Representatives of the bench, the Bar, the State Court System,
law schools, law enforcement agencies, bar associations, political
party committees, good government groups, civil rights
organizations and judicial reform advocates are invited to share
with state lawmakers and policymakers their insights and
suggestions on establishing “A Lasting Blueprint for Judicial
For more information on the public legislative forum on judicial
diversity contact: Chris La Barge at NYS Senator Malcolm A. Smith’s
office by calling (518) 455-2973 or e-mail requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
For press inquiries contact Dominic Scianna, Director of Media
Relations at St. John’s University by calling (718) 990-6185 or
e-mail inquiries to email@example.com.
According to 2001 figures published by the American Bar
Association’s Standing Committee on Judicial Independence, only 84
(or 14.6%) minority judges out of 574 authorized state-court judges
in New York sat on the bench in trial and appellate courts in the
• New York State is now over 40% minority and New York City
is over 50%. The borough of Queens, where St. John’s School
of Law is located, is the most diverse county in the U.S.
• St. John’s University is proud to host this important
conversation on Judicial Diversity as it has long championed the
educational needs of the underserved and underrepresented
throughout the metropolitan community.