LGBT Judges

Justice Rosalyn Richter Receives the LGBT Bar’s Dan Bradley Award

August 8, 2018 (The LGBT Bar)—Justice Rosalyn H. Richter was honored with the Dan Bradley Award at the 30th Annual Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair.

The Dan Bradley Award is the National LGBT Bar Association’s highest honor. Given at the Lavender Law Awards Lunch, the award recognizes the efforts of a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender legal advocacy community whose work has led the way in our struggle for legal equality.

Justice Rosalyn Richter“I’ve been told that I was courageous for being so out in the late 1970s, and 1980s and for being out throughout my judicial career,” said Justice Richter in her acceptance speech. “For me, being out, being honest about who I am has been the only way to live. It was not always easy, and yes, there were opportunities lost because I made these decisions. Yes, there were law firms and legal entities that would not hire me back then because I was so out. But, there also were opportunities gained to educate other lawyers and judges about being LGBT…”

Justice Richter is known as a fair and independent member of the bench and a successful judicial force in her own right. She is a stellar example of judicial visibility as one of the first openly gay judges to hold a justice position on the appellate level.

She has served as an Associate Justice on the New York State Appellate Division First Department since March 2009. Prior to this appointment, Justice Richter amassed nearly two decades of experience in the New York State Court System, including a tenure in the Supreme Court in New York County from 2002 to 2008.

Justice Richter’s involvement for the LGBT community began long before her appointment to the bench. Shortly after graduating from law school, Justice Richter became the Executive Director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and its first paid staff attorney.

As a judge, Justice Richter has continued to fight for greater civility in the profession and inclusion of LGBT issues within the framework of diversity by acting as a member of or chair to numerous committees, including the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission of the New York State Courts, the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, the Criminal Jury Instruction Committee, and the New York State Courts Advisory Committee on Access for People with Disabilities.

She also chaired the New York City Bar Committee on Women in the Profession and the Committee on Lesbians and Gay Men in the Profession, and currently chairs the New York City Bar Association Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession. In addition to her vast experience on diversity committees, she recently completed a six-year term as a member of the board of directors of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) USA.

Last year, Justice Richter was among those who spearheaded mandatory Diversity, Inclusion, and Elimination of Bias requirements for members of the New York Bar. Such continued efforts will help ensure that attorneys throughout the state uphold her legacy of inclusion.