Hon. Carolyn Walker-Diallo ’03, the first Muslim woman elected as a judge in the United States and the first Muslim to serve as a judge in New York State, is taking the next step in her groundbreaking career.
In December, Judge Walker-Diallo was named Supervising Judge of the Kings County (Brooklyn) Civil Court. The new position took effect in January 2019. In addition, she was recently featured as one of the 2019 “Most Notable Women in Law” by Crain’s New York Business.
Judge Walker-Diallo was elected to the Kings County Civil Court in 2015. She spent the first two years of her judicial career serving as a Criminal Court judge in Brooklyn. In early 2018, she began serving as a Civil Court judge in Manhattan, where she most recently presided in the Consumer Debt/Self-Represented Litigant Part.
As an NYLS student, Judge Walker-Diallo was President of the Black Law Students Association and Vice President of the Muslim Law Students Association. Before embarking on her judicial career, she worked in private practice, was an Assistant Corporation Counsel at the New York City Law Department, served in the nonprofit sector, and was an administrative law judge for the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, among other roles. She was born and raised in Brooklyn.
In a 2018 interview with the local news site eastnewyork.com, Judge Walker-Diallo described her professional and personal motivations for pursuing law: “I have always had a love for the law, especially since I did not see many conscious African-American lawyers adequately representing the needs of the community back in the 80s and 90s. … My ascension to the bench came after years of practicing law and working on a grass-roots level in the community.”
Hon. Anthony Cannataro ’96, the Administrative Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York, and Hon. Ingrid Joseph ’82, the immediate past Supervising Judge of Kings County, are also NYLS alums. Judge Cannataro, Judge Joseph, and Judge Walker-Diallo are featured in NYLS’s Hall of Judges, an on-campus exhibit launched by Dean Anthony W. Crowell that pays tribute to the hundreds of NYLS alumni who serve or have served at all levels of the judiciary.