Asian American Bar Association of New York Commends the Appointment of Donald Leo as New York City Criminal Court Judge

January 14, 2016   

Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director
(718) 228-7206

NEW YORK – January 14, 2016 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) commends New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s appointment of Donald Leo as New York City Criminal Court Judge. Judge Leo joined the bench after thirteen years of service as an Assistant District Attorney in New York County and seven years as Deputy Bureau Chief of the Sex Offender Management Bureau for the New York State Attorney General’s Office. His appointment was effective December 29, 2015.

A lifelong New Yorker and first generation son of Chinese immigrants, Judge Leo is fluent in Cantonese and witnessed firsthand the Chinatown community’s aversion to cooperating with law enforcement and their distrust of the legal system. He has spent many of his years as a public servant fostering public trust and bridging the two worlds of New York’s Chinatown and New York’s criminal justice system by bringing justice to those who often feel that there is none. Judge Leo is a graduate of New York University and received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. He is also a founding member of AABANY’s Prosecutors Committee, started in 2008.

“AABANY is proud to see another one of its prominent members ascend to the bench,” says Yang Chen, Executive Director of AABANY. “Judge Leo is highly qualified to serve on the Criminal Court, and his own life experiences speak to the need for increased diversity on the bench. The more the bench reflects the diversity of the residents in our diverse communities across the city, the more they can develop a sense of trust that the courts are truly representative of them and are there to serve them. We thank Mayor de Blasio and his Advisory Committee on the Judiciary for making this appointment possible, and for continuing to promote diversity on the bench as an integral part of the administration of justice for all New Yorkers.”

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, or direct any inquiries to [email protected].

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.  Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole.  AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).


Additional information about AABANY is available at

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