Sen. Chuck Schumer wants Filipina named N.Y. district court judge

New York Senator Charles Schumer has recommended Lorna Schofield as federal district court judge for the Southern District of New York, according to the National Federation of Filipino American Associations.

A NaFFAA statement said Schumer submitted the FilAm lawyer’s name to President Obama “with a recommendation to appoint her” to the position.

Lorna Schofield

“As a second-generation Filipino American, Ms. Schofield’s nomination and confirmation by the Senate would make her the first in the history of the United States to serve as a federal judge,” said NaFFAA National Chairman Ed Navarra. “Given that Asian Americans are significantly underrepresented in the federal judiciary, Ms. Schofield’s addition will greatly enhance the judiciary’s diversity.”

The statement said Schofield is the only child of a Filipina mother who came to the United States during the post-World War II reconstruction of the Philippines. Mother and daughter remained in the Midwest after Schofield’s father left the family when she was only 3 years old.

She grew up in a blue-collar community and received a full tuition scholarship to attend Indiana University. She earned her law degree from the New York University Law School, and in 2008 was named one of the nation’s 50 most influential minority lawyers by the National Law Journal.

She served as Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York for four years before joining the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP where she is currently serving as Of Counsel. She was a litigation partner from 1991 to 2011.

The company website said her experience is “focused on litigation in complex commercial matters, particularly the defense of companies and individuals in regulatory and white collar criminal investigations. She also conducts internal and independent investigations on behalf of companies, their Boards of Directors and Audit Committees. On the civil side, she represents clients in private disputes, including class actions, corporate bankruptcies, business fraud, professional liability and commercial disputes.”

Rozita Lee, NaFFAA National Vice Chair Emeritus, said Schofield meets the requirements of the job due in large measure to her education, professional experience and judicial philosophy. “With her thoughtful and insightful ideas, breadth of knowledge and intelligence, she brings passion and a unique perspective to a profession that is both a calling and a sacred duty.”

Community activist and civil rights advocate Gloria Caoile noted that with Schofield’s excellent 20-year record in the legal profession, “We are confident that Ms. Schofield’s life experience will be inspiring and immensely enriching to the U.S. District Court.”

Other national organizations applaud Schumer’s endorsement of Schofield.

“She has the experience, intellectual capacity, integrity and temperament to be an excellent district judge and we hope she has the opportunity to do so,” said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of Asian American Justice Center.

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  1. […] federal judge of the Southern District of New York, the news site The FilAm said on Tuesday. The report, citing an announcement of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), said […]

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