Dear NYLS Community,
Our New York Law School community congratulates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on her historic Senate confirmation to the United States Supreme Court.
In the past two weeks, our Black Law Students Association (BLSA) held its Alumni Awards Dinner, and our Legal Association for Women (LAW) held its annual symposium showcasing how our law school community represents the great promise of our profession, and with Judge Jackson’s elevation, there is even more cause to be excited about the future. The Court has broken another barrier to access to the full promise of American life—she will be first Black woman, and only the sixth woman overall, to sit on the nation’s highest court. This confirmation is inspiring for countless Americans, particularly those from communities of color who have confronted historical and societal obstacles that have hindered their advancement and denied them a place in charting our nation’s future and a role in ensuring justice. As she so powerfully stated on Friday alongside President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, “We have come a long way towards perfecting our union. In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
Judge Jackson brings to the Court exceptional qualifications, including her service as a Federal Circuit Court Judge, a former Assistant Federal Public Defender, Vice Chair of the US Sentencing Commission, an attorney in private practice, and a law clerk to several judges including the one she is replacing, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer H ’18. Her lived experience will be invaluable to the Court, whose decisions impacts the lives of all Americans, many who are often unseen and forgotten, as matters with the highest stakes are considered and decided.
With Judge Jackson’s confirmation, all law students, present and future, including the 62 percent of NYLS students who are women, will understand that every part of our profession is accessible to them. And, soon, the case books they learn from will contain opinions written by Judge Jackson, whose judicial methodology they will study, and whose opinions, and the precedents they set, will help guide them in a life in service of others. Indeed, her confirmation, and ultimately her appointment, reaffirms our values and responsibilities as lawyers to help others in their quest for fairness, equality, and justice, as they navigate the immense and growing scope of challenges confronting our local communities, nation, and world.
Dean Anthony W. Crowell
Academic Dean William P. LaPiana
Julia Porzio 3L
President, Student Bar Association
Sabrina Smith 4L Evening
President, Black Law Students Association
Jacqueline Candella 3L and Amanda Schribman 3L
Co-Presidents, Legal Association for Women