President Barack Obama nominated Attorney Lorna Schofield to serve as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of New York. If confirmed by the US Senate, she would be the first Filipino American to serve as an Article III federal judge.
“I am honored to put forward these highly qualified candidates for the federal bench,” President Obama said of Ms. Schofield’s nomination along with three others.? “They will be distinguished public servants and valuable additions to the United States District Court.”
Organizations such as the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA),? the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and?KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress?expressed their congratulations to Ms. Schofield on her nomination.
“As a second-generation Filipino American, Ms. Schofield’s nomination and confirmation by the Senate would make her the first in the history of the United States to serve as a federal judge,” said NaFFAA National Chairman Ed Navarra. “Given that Asian Americans are significantly underrepresented in the federal judiciary, Ms. Schofield’s addition will greatly enhance the judiciary’s diversity.”
Schofield is a second-generation Filipino American. She is an only child raised by her Filipina mother who immigrated to the United States during the post-World War II reconstruction of the Philippines. Mother and daughter remained in the Midwest after Ms. Shofield’s father left the family when she was only three years old.
She grew up in a blue collar community and received a full tuition scholarship to attend Indiana University. She earned her law degree from the New York University Law School in 1981 and in 2008 was named one of the nation’s 50 most influential minority lawyers by the National Law Journal. She served as Assistant United States Attorney in the criminal division of the Southern District of New York for four years where her significant cases involved prosecuting domestic terrorism, arms smuggling, and tax fraud. Schofield joined the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP where she was a litigation partner or almost 20 years focusing her practice on complex civil litigation and white collar criminal defense. She joined the firm as an associate in 1988, was promoted to partner in 1991, and became of counsel earlier this year.
Currently, AAPIs are underrepresented on the federal bench. When the President took office, there were only eight AAPI Article III federal judges out of 874. ?In just over three years President Obama has doubled the number of AAPI federal judges.