Biography of Justice Debra James

Justice James

Judge James is a Supreme Court Justice, New York County, elected to that office in 2013. She began her judicial career as a New York City Civil Court judge in 1995. Judge James started her legal career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel, New York City Law Department, where she represented municipal corporations in New York state and federal trial and appellate courts. Immediately prior to ascending to the bench, Judge James served as the first general counsel of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. Judge James is a member of the New York City Bar Association, and member emeritus of its Executive Committee. She is also president emeritus of the Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Inc. A member of the National Association of Women Judges, Judge James is former chair of its Women in Prison Committee, New York chapter, and a recipient of NAWJ’s Mattie Belle Davis Award. Judge James earned her B.A. degree (cum laude) in American Government and Politics at Cornell University and received her J.D. degree from Cornell Law School.