Justice Sallie Manzanet-Daniels returned to her Bronx roots immediately after earning her JD at Hofstra University School of Law on a full scholarship. She began her legal career as a criminal defense practitioner at the Legal Aid Society in Bronx County. While she enjoyed the action of the courtroom and trial work, her pursuit for greater justice compelled her to accept a position as the Principal Law Clerk in Supreme Court for Justice Frank Torres in Criminal Term and thereafter with Administrative Judge Luis A. Gonzalez in Civil Term.
She was elected as a Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York in November 1999. In November 2001, she was elected to the Supreme Court and was recognized with a Gubernatorial citation for becoming the youngest Justice of Hispanic Heritage ever elected in New York State at the age of 37.
In 2009, Justice Manzanet-Daniels, again made history when she was appointed by Governor David Patterson as the first Latina woman in the history of New York State to ever sit on an Appellate Division in any of the judicial departments of the state. In 2015, Justice Manzanet-Daniels was designated by Governor Andrew Cuomo, as a Constitutional Judge of the Appellate Division, First Department, again making her the first Latina to hold that distinction in New York State.
Justice Manzanet-Daniels has been honored and received numerous professional recognitions, including the Judicial Excellence Award from the Latino Judges Association & the Puerto Rican Bar Association, twice awarded the President’s Award from the Bronx County Bar Association and The Golda Meir Award from the Jewish Lawyers Guild, to name just a few. In 2015, Justice Manzanet-Daniels was the Commencement Speaker at her alma mater, Hofstra University School of Law and was awarded an Honorary Degree on the occasion.
It is her commitment to her community and mentoring students from all walks of life however, where “Judge Sallie” (as she is affectionately known to the hundreds of students she has mentored over the course of her professional life) has fully dedicated her passion to. She has worked with students of all ages, all races and ethnicities, all social strata and from any source – formal or otherwise. Her belief in giving back prompted her family in 2013 to establish the “Judge Sallie Manzanet-Daniels – Dare to Dream Scholarship” (fully self-funded) which has awarded an annual scholarship to a graduating 3L students in need of assistance for the bar exam.
Currently, beyond her family, loving husband Randy Daniels, her daughter Taina, step-daughters -Touré and Asha, and first grandson -Greyden, her passion is world travel, dancing salsa and her work as President of the Latino Judges Association.