Historic Confirmation of Lorna Schofield; First Filipino American to the Federal Bench

Historic Confirmation of Lorna Schofield; First Filipino American to the Federal Bench

*** For Immediate Release ***

KAYA Applauds Historic Confirmation of Lorna Schofield; First Filipino American to the Federal Bench

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate voted 91-0 to confirm Attorney Lorna Schofield to serve as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of New York. Schofield will be the first Filipino American to serve as an Article III federal judge.[1] Article III judges are nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and appointed lifetime tenure.

“This is a historic day for the Filipino American community,” said KAYA National Co-Chair, Attorney Jason T. Lagria. “Attorney Schofield’s confirmation is an inspirational story that shows there is no limit to what our community can achieve through perseverance and hard work.”

“The New York metropolitan area has a very diverse population and the fourth largest Filipino American population in the U.S. so it is encouraging to see our judiciary reflect the population it serves. This is definitely a reflection of continued commitment from our country’s leadership” said Attorney Ray Buenaventura, Mayor of Daly City and Honorary KAYA board advisor.

Schofield is an only child raised by her Filipina mother who emigrated to the United States during the post-World War II reconstruction of the Philippines. Schofield grew up in a blue collar community of the Midwest that featured little diversity. She earned a full tuition scholarship for her undergraduate education at Indiana University and earned her law degree at New York University (NYU), where she served on the Law Review.

A litigation partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP for almost 20 years, she became the firm’s first minority partner in 1991 and now serves as Of Counsel. Prior to joining Debevoise, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the Southern District of New York. She was the first Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) to chair the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, and was named one of the nation’s 50 most influential minority lawyers by the National Law Journal.

Currently, AAPIs are underrepresented on the federal bench. When the President took office, there were only eight AAPI Article III federal judges out of 874.  With Schofield’s confirmation, President Obama has over doubled the number of AAPI federal judges to 17. If the number of AAPI federal judges reflected the general population, there would be over 60 district and appellate court judges.

KAYA congratulates Attorney Schofield on her historic confirmation.  KAYA also thanks President Obama for nominating her, and Senator Schumer for supporting her nomination.


 [1] Judge Alfred Laureta served from 1978-1988 as the District Judge for the District of the Northern Mariana Islands. Judges appointed to the District of Northern Mariana Islands are not appointed as lifetime tenure Article III judges, but Rather are appointed for a 10 year term under Article I of the U.S. Constitution.

Contact: Melissa Josue, KAYA National Communications Director, melissa@kayagrassroots.org


KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress

KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress was founded in January 2009, to build a political infrastructure to ensure that the Filipino American community is represented in the electoral process and governance. KAYA was born from the Filipinos for Obama Campaign during the 2008 Presidential election. KAYA’s mission is to mobilize the Filipino American community and build partnerships to increase our electoral power, advocate policies that affect our community, and develop leaders to represent us at every level of government.



151 Responses

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