Founded in 1985, the Latino Judges Association, Inc., (formerly known as the Association of Judges of Hispanic Heritage) was established by a group of Latino Judges determined to increase and to promote diversity on the bench.
Our purpose is multi-faceted. As an association we look to serve as a forum to discuss areas of concern to Latino Judges; to encourage judicial service among Latinos; to publicize and recognize achievements of Latino Judges and others; and to educate the public about the judicial system and the role of the Latino Judges Association.
Promoting and expanding access to judicial office and advancement within the judiciary are central to our mission. In the wake of a societal reawakening on issues of diversity and inclusion in our nation and state, LJA reaffirms our commitment to that core principle. The need for greater diversity and inclusion was clearly illustrated in the “Equal Justice Review” commissioned by our Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. The comprehensive “Equal Justice Review Report” issued by Secretary Jeh Johnson and LJA’s own analysis in its “Overview of Latinos in the NYS Judiciary Report”, confirmed the disparate lack of representation of Latinos in the New York State Judiciary and the need to take corrective action.
The LJA is committed to ensuring a strong independent judiciary that is representative of New York State’s diverse communities. In furtherance of this mission, the Association shall support increased access to judicial positions for persons from the Latino community based on individual skill, talent and ability, promote the advancement of Latinas and Latinos within the judiciary for appointment to leadership positions with administrative and policymaking authority and to provide opportunities for continuing judicial education programs for our members.
To that end, our Association is committed to working with court administrators, other judicial organizations, bar associations, law schools and community groups, to achieve its purpose – with particular attention to judicial reform and diversity initiatives that further the goals of fairness, equality and inclusion.