Michelle A. Johnson (formerly Armstrong) commenced her legal career as a prosecutor at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York where she served as an ADA in the Homicide Bureau; as Bureau Chief of a felony trial unit; and as Executive Assistant District Attorney of The School Crimes Bureau from 1992 – 2003. She also served as the District Attorney’s liaison to the New York City Department of Education; made multiple television appearances on “Court TV” as a guest commentator; and served as “visiting faculty” at Emory Law School’s renowned Trial Techniques Course for first year law students in Atlanta, Georgia. From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Johnson served as Supervisory General Attorney at the U.S. Department of Education’s, New York Office for Civil Rights. From 2006 to 2011, Ms. Johnson opened a boutique law firm, The Armstrong Law Firm, PLLC, specializing in criminal defense, family & divorce law, and real estate transactions in the five boroughs of New York City, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
In September 2011, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Judge Johnson to the judiciary as an Interim Civil Court Judge from September 2011 to December 2011; re-appointed her from January 2012 to December 2012; and appointed her to the New York City Criminal Court from January 2013 to December 2022. In January 2016, the NYS Deputy Chief Administrative Judge appointed Judge Johnson as the Supervising Judge of the Queens County Criminal Court, and Acting Justice of the Supreme Court. In November 2020, Judge Johnson was elected as Justice of the Supreme Court for the State of New York out of the 11th Judicial District (Queens County).
Justice Johnson is the first-born American Citizen in her family; and the first-born child of parents from the Republic of Panama. She attended elementary and high school in Brooklyn and Queens, New York. In 1989, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, cum laude, from Hampton University; and in 1992, she earned a Juris Doctor of Law Degree from George Washington University’s National Law Center in Washington, D.C.
She is currently a member of Judicial Friends Association; Latino Lawyers & Judges Association; Queens County Women’s Bar Association; Macon B. Allen Bar Association; the Long Island Chapter of the National Hampton Alumnae Association; and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.