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US senator recommends top Fil-Am lawyer to NY district judge seat

/ 07:00 PM January 27, 2012

New York Senator Charles Schumer has recommended Filipino American Lorna Schofield to President Barack Obama to serve as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of New York.

“As a top-flight lawyer and former Assistant US Attorney, Schofield has had a distinguished legal career and would make a fantastic judge,” said Schumer in a statement on his website.

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“When I select judges, I always look for three things — excellence, diversity, and moderation — and Schofield exemplifies all of these qualities. I’m pleased to recommend her to President Obama for the Southern District Bench.”

An email to Schofield for a reaction about the recommendation was not returned as of press time.

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If nominated by Obama and confirmed by the US Senate, Schofield will become the first Filipino-American in the history of the United States to serve as a federal judge, according to the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC).

A graduate of NYU Law School and former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Schofield is currently a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, one of the nation’s most prestigious law firms.

“Lorna Schofield is exceptionally well-qualified to serve as a federal district court judge,” said Tina Matsuoka, executive director of NAPABA.

Schofield is half-Filipino and a second-generation Filipino-American. According to her bio, her mother is a Filipino, who married an American serviceman after World War II.

Diversity

The NAPABA and AAJC lauded Senator Schumer for recommending Schofield to the White House for the federal district seat. Citing the lack of Asian Pacific Americans in the federal judiciary, the organization said that “in the New York City area, ten percent of the population is Asian Pacific American, yet of the over 90 active and senior Article III judges currently serving the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, none is Asian Pacific American in the Southern District and only one is Asian Pacific American in the Eastern District.”

“We commend Senator Schumer for recognizing both Ms. Schofield’s qualifications and the importance of diversity to the judiciary,” said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of AAJC. “Ms. Schofield has the experience to be an excellent district judge in the Southern District of New York, and we hope that she has the opportunity to do so.”

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TAGS: American, Filipino, Judiciary, Lorna Schofield, migrant, United States
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