Honorable Judge Carmen R. Velasquez emigrated from her native country of Ecuador at age 14. Without speaking a single word in English, she began her formal studies with a goal towards becoming an attorney.
While a student, many advisers tried to dissuade her from pursuing a legal career, suggesting she should become a secretary instead. However, her strong will and determination proved the skeptics wrong. She completed her early education at Long Island City High School.
Ms. Velasquez has worked as a cashier in a fruit store, factory worker and as a bank teller. While in John Jay College of Criminal Justice, she was elected to many positions. The City University of New York recognized her contributions and conferred upon her “The Belle Zeller Scholarship”. Ms. Velasquez received the Counsel for Legal Education Opportunity Fellowship (CLEO) as well as the Temple University Graduate Fellowship that paid for her entire legal education and living expenses. She successfully obtained a Juris Doctor degree from Temple Law School. Judge Carmen Velasquez has received over 100 awards and recognitions.
After serving as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx County, she worked for the City of New York in the Legal Affairs Division of the Sanitation Department as a deputy advocate. In private practice since 1991, she has concentrated in the areas of Criminal defense, Family Law, and Immigration. As such, she has achieved great acclaim as an accomplished litigator. Her work ethic, professionalism, and enthusiasm for the legal professional have generated great admiration from her colleagues and Justices.
Elected to the Civil Court bench in New York on November 4, 2008, Judge Velasquez is the First Ecuadorian American to become an elected Judge in the United States. In November 2020, Judge Velasquez was named I of 10 judges in the US to become part of the U.S. Chapter Pan-American Commission of Judges on Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine In January 2021, Judge Velasquez was elected President of the Association of Supreme Court Justice of the State of New York. Judge Velasquez is the first Latina to hold said office.
On November 2014, Judge Velasquez was elected to a fourteen-year term as Justice of the New York State Supreme Court. She presently presides in the Civil Term Queens County handling general jurisdiction, foreclosures, accident cases, medical malpractice, and condemnation proceedings, election law, foreclosures, labor law, etc.
On a more personal note, Judge Carmen Velasquez has a lovely daughter named Jessica.