Sheila Abdus-Salaam

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Sheila Abdus-Salaam
Associate Justice of the First Judicial Department
Assumed office
Appointed by David Paterson
Justice on the New York Supreme Court, 1st Judicial District
In office
Judge on the New York City Civil Court
In office
Personal details
Born 1952
Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Barnard College
Columbia Law School

Sheila Abdus-Salaam (born 1952) is a judge on the New York Court of Appeals. She is the first black woman to be appointed to a seat on New York's highest court.

Early life and education[edit]

She was born in 1952 in Washington, D.C., and attended the public schools there. She is a 1974 graduate of Barnard College and a 1977 graduate of Columbia Law School.

Legal career[edit]

Prior to joining the bench, she worked as a staff attorney for Brooklyn Legal Services and served in the New York State Department of Law as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights and Real Estate Financing Bureaus. She subsequently served on the New York City Civil Court from 1992 to 1993. She was a New York Supreme Court Justice, from 1993 to 2009. She was designated as a Justice for the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department in 2009 by Governor David Paterson. She was an Associate Justice of the New York Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Judicial Department from 2009 until her elevation in 2013.

She was nominated by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on April 5, 2013 to fill the vacancy on the New York Court of Appeals created by the death of Judge Theodore T. Jones.[1] She was confirmed without opposition by a voice vote held on May 6, 2013.


  1. ^ Justice Abdus Salaam for Court of Appeals by Marc Santora, in the New York Times on April 5, 2013