A Life in Judicial Service

Laura TAYLOR Swain '75

Laura TAYLOR Swain ’75 began her career as a law clerk for Judge Constance Baker Motley, the first African-American woman to serve as a federal judge in the United States. She later worked in private practice with the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. In 1996, Swain was named a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New York. President Bill Clinton appointed her to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2000, and she chaired the advisory committee for the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure from 2007-2010. She became Chief Judge in 2021 and also teaches as an Adjunct Professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University.

In 2019, Swain received The New York County Lawyers Association’s Edward Weinfeld Award, bestowed upon a professional who has made distinguished contributions to the administration of justice.