Contact: Erin Pangilinan, KAYA National Communications Director, erin@kayagrassroots.org


***** For Immediate Release *****

KAYA Applauds President Obama on his nomination of Lorna Schofield to the federal bench

Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, President Obama nominated Attorney Lorna Schofield to serve as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of New York. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she would be the first Filipino American to serve as an Article III federal judge.# Article III judges are nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and appointed lifetime tenure.

Schofield is a second-generation Filipino American. She is an only child raised by her Filipina mother who immigrated 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 the National Law Journal named her one of the nation’s 50 most influential minority lawyers.

“It is exciting to finally see a Filipina American have the opportunity to serve as a federal judge,” said KAYA National Co-Chair, Attorney Jason T. Lagria. “Growing up, there were not many Filipino lawyers I could look to as role models, and I hope her nomination inspires members of our community to follow in her footsteps.”

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.  In just over three years President Obama has doubled the number of AAPI federal judges. His nomination of Attorney Schofield affirms his Administration’s commitment to the Filipino American community and to have a judiciary that reflects the nation it serves.

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

Thank President Obama here for his nomination
.

Note: 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.

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