Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan’s Letter to the Editor Featured in the New York Law Journal

The New York Law Journal featured “Child Care Must Be a Men’s Issue for True Equality,” a letter to the editor by Doris Ling-Cohan, AABANY member and Associate Justice for the Appellate Term, First Department.

Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan recalls the time she and her husband had to juggle child care responsibilities and their professional responsibilities. She notes what Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, that in order for there to be true equality for women child care cannot just be viewed as a women’s issue by society.

To read the full article, click here.

Organizational Statement | Judicial Selection Process in New York

NAPABA is aware of a highly unusual development in the judicial selection process in the State of New York. It is our understanding that, for the first time in the state’s history, a local screening committee has declined to vote a sitting judge, Justice Doris Ling-Cohan, out of committee, thereby denying her the opportunity to seek re-election, with the effect of removing her from the bench. While we are also aware of press reports of potential changes in this development, to our knowledge, the decision of the screening panel has not been reversed, and Justice Ling-Cohan is not on the ballot for the November election. Justice Ling-Cohan is the first and only Asian Pacific American woman on the appellate courts of New York. This statistic is particularly striking, as Asian Pacific Americans make up 7.3 percent of the population of New York. We encourage our local affiliates, who are closest to the process and to the relevant players, to closely investigate and monitor the situation, and for the New York legal community to take every step necessary to ensure that judges are treated fairly and on the merits, and are given the opportunity to confront and respond to any expressed concerns or objections.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or [email protected].

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of approximately 50,000 attorneys and approximately 75 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

Judge wins re-election ballot battle after being barred

Judge wins re-election ballot battle after being barred

Today, 1pm at City Hall: Rally to Denounce Flawed Process Banning Distinguished Justice from Bench

Council Member Margaret S. Chin
Council Member Rosie Mendez


Contact: Paul Leonard (917) 232-3620, [email protected]

Community Groups, LGBT Advocates and Bar Associations Rally to Denounce Flawed Process Banning Distinguished Justice from Bench: Shock and anger over removal of groundbreaking jurist who authored historic LGBT decision that helped pave the way for marriage equality in New York State

WHAT: Members of the Lower East Side and Chinatown communities will come together to express outrage over a decision to take Justice Doris Ling-Cohan, a sitting judge in the Appellate Term, off November’s ballot after 20 years as an independent voice on the bench. Bar association members and LGBT advocates will join the community to call for a new judicial screening panel so that Justice Ling-Cohan can clear her name and keep a job at which she excels.

WHEN: TUESDAY, Sept. 6 at 1 p.m.

WHERE: City Hall Steps


  • Council Member Margaret Chin
  • Council Member Rosie Mendez
  • Members of the Lower East Side community
  • Members of the Chinatown community
  • Asian American Bar Association
  • Korean American Bar Association
  • Puerto Rican Bar Association
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York

WHY: To date, Justice Doris Ling-Cohan has not been officially informed of the decision to vote her off a panel of judges that will appear on November’s ballot. However, rumors of her removal were confirmed last week in an article in the New York Post, which included unfounded statements assailing her character and reputation as a judge.

Justice Ling-Cohan’s distinguished career on the bench began on the Civil Court of the City of New York in 1995 when she became the first Asian-American in her district elected to public office. She has since been elected to the New York State Supreme Court before being appointed to the Appellate Term in 2014 — both historic firsts.

Among Justice Ling-Cohan’s many decisions and dissents is her landmark ruling in Hernandez v. Robles in February 2005 that same-sex couples have a “fundamental right” to marry who they love.

Press Release: Asian American Bar Association of New York Urges Judicial Screening Panel to Reconsider Decision on Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan

September 2, 2016

Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director
(212) 332-2478

Asian American Bar Association of New York Urges Judicial Screening Panel to Reconsider Decision on Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan 

NEW YORK – September 2, 2016 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is disappointed by the New York County Democratic Committee Independent Judicial Screening Panel’s determination that Justice Doris Ling-Cohan does not merit continuation in office as a New York State Supreme Court Justice.  The panel’s decision to reject the candidacy of an incumbent judge in New York County is unprecedented and is particularly unexpected, given Justice Ling-Cohan’s record as a jurist and her stature as a trailblazer in the legal community. Justice Ling-Cohan—a founding Board Member of AABANY—was the first Asian American woman to be elected to the New York State Supreme Court and appointed to its Appellate Term.  She has contributed tirelessly to the bench and bar, championing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession through her leadership and example.  In a bold step that garnered national attention, Justice Ling-Cohan authored the trial-level opinion in Hernandez v. Robles—a prescient ruling holding New York State’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional more than six years before the passage of New York’s Marriage Equality Act.   

“We are surprised by this development,” said AABANY President Susan Shin.  “Justice Ling-Cohan is a pillar in our community and a role model to generations of young lawyers.  While we respect the Manhattan Democratic Party’s panel process, we urge the party’s Judiciary Committee to adopt a procedure to afford Justice Ling-Cohan the opportunity to seek reconsideration of this most unusual outcome.”

If left undisturbed, the panel’s decision will deprive the Asian American community and New Yorkers of a diverse, courageous and influential voice on the Court. AABANY affirms its longstanding support for Justice Ling-Cohan and celebrates her many accomplishments in her distinguished career.  

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-2478, 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 www.aabany.org

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KALAGNY – 2016 NAPABA Northeast Regional Conference

KALAGNY – 2016 NAPABA Northeast Regional Conference

Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission – Newsletter June 2016

Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission – Newsletter June 2016

Featured Alumna: Doris Ling-Cohan | NYU School of Law

Featured Alumna: Doris Ling-Cohan | NYU School of Law

Seeking Volunteer Attorneys to Assist Appellate Judge

Judge seeks volunteer attorneys with experience in criminal, landlord-tenant, or consumer debt matters.  Judge presides on appellate cases and also handles some trial court matters.

Full-time or four days per week preferred, but flexible schedule can be arranged. A wonderful learning and mentee opportunity for volunteer, and an excellent resume-enhancer. Although not guaranteed, many of our former volunteers have moved onto paying legal positions. Opportunity to enhance research/writing and oral skills.

Willing to fill out paperwork for fellowships, if necessary. Rolling deadline. Opportunities open year round.

Please send cover letter, resume and references by email to:

Lynn Cho: [email protected]