‘Titan of Justice’ Judge Edwina Richardson Honored By New York State Bar Association’s Women in Law Section
The New York State Bar Association honored New York State’s Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Edwina Richardson with its Ruth G. Schapiro Award during its House of Delegates at the association’s Annual Meeting in New York City on Friday Jan. 20.
“I am so deeply grateful,” Judge Richardson said as she received the award. “This honor is among my life’s gifts because this honor from the Women In Law Section puts women front and center, issues affecting women in the legal profession, and the public at large.”
As deputy chief administrative judge for justice initiatives, Judge Richardson makes sure that all New Yorkers have equal access to justice in New York’s civil, criminal, and family courts. In service of this mission, Judge Richardson supervises help centers, pro bono programs and resources designed to serve unrepresented court users. In all her efforts, Judge Richardson is passionate about eliminating bias, discrimination and harassment and creating trust in the court system.
“Judge Richardson is a champion for women and girls, and her passion knows no bounds,” said New York State Bar Association President Richard Lewis. “She is a visionary leader who works tirelessly to make our courts accessible to all New Yorkers and is beloved by the lawyers with whom she interacts.”
Judge Richardson also leads the Equal Justice in the Courts Initiative, which came out of the 2020 report on equal access and racial bias in the New York State Court System. That report’s author, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, called Richardson a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion and a passionate public servant who translates ideas into action.
A common thread in Judge Richardson’s work is her contribution to enhancing the lives of young people. She devotes countless hours to encouraging young women to work hard, dream big and appreciate that they are worthy enough to pursue careers in the legal profession. Her colleague, First Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Norman St. George, called her the “Titan of Justice” in the New York Court system, adding that it is not just a moniker, but a way of life for her.
The award is named for the late Ruth G. Schapiro, a nationally regarded tax lawyer, who was the first woman partner at Proskauer. She was the first chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Women in the Law.
Honoring attorneys who render extraordinary service to the public and the profession is part of NYSBA’s Annual Meeting tradition. This year’s event promises to be dynamic and informative, featuring a wide range of sessions and activities tailored to the diverse interests and needs of lawyers practicing in New York. The 147th Annual Meeting takes place Jan. 16 to 20.
The Presidential Summit, the marquee event of the New York State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting, is on Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The summit, entitled “AI and the Legal Landscape: Navigating the Ethical, Regulatory and Practical Challenges,” will focus on harnessing the technology that is transforming the practice of law and bringing ethical and regulatory challenges to the forefront of its deployment.
Other highlights include the Presidential Gala, where former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will be honored with the association’s most prestigious award, the Gold Medal. The gala is Thursday, Jan. 18, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., at the Museum of Modern Art. Chief Judge Rowan Wilson will deliver the keynote address at the Justice for All Luncheon earlier that day, while the Constance Baker Motley Symposium and Diversity Awards Program takes place Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. The President’s Reception will immediately follow.