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Judicial Friends Associates

The Judicial Friends Association, Inc. (JFA), also known as The Judicial Friends, was established in 1976 by a group of judges of color within the State of New York and within the federal districts that encompass the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York seeking fair and just treatment of African-American judges, judicial staff and attorneys. Among these judges were the Honorable J. B. Williams, Ennis Edwards, Fritz Alexander, Howard Bell, Frank Morton, Andrew Tyler and Edith Miller. Its mission includes the advancement of a learned and dedicated legal community that is reflective of its members. It promotes educational activities in the law for the purposes of improving the understanding of the law through seminars, published materials and lectures.

Our Mission

The Judicial Friends Association, Inc. (JFA) is an organization of judges of color who preside in local, state and federal courts within the State of New York.

JFA members are both active and retired judges who have a commitment to social and racial justice through the law. Founded in 1976, its principle mission is to perform community service and support its members through the exchange of shared experiences and a repository of legal information to enhance judicial decision making. JFA’s mission also includes the expansion of a learned and diverse bar reflective of the community that we serve. Members have achieved recognizable and outstanding service to the community, which contributes significantly to the improvement of the quality of life and extension of peace and social justice in communities of color.

JFA fulfills its mission by supporting newly appointed and elected justices and judges of the courts in the State of New York; consulting with the Office of Court Administration, the official management arm of the judiciary system of the State of New York, in developing legal internship programs, curriculum and faculty for the state judiciary; and assisting law students and members of the bar who seek gainful employment within the judiciary. JFA presents awards to members of the judiciary as well as attorneys for outstanding contributions to the legal community through remarkable achievements. Its members lecture at seminars on critical legal issues; publish written materials regarding access to justice; support various community organizations; host an annual law sermon in local churches; and mentor law students who participate in programs through various schools and bar associations.