Melissa C. Jackson ’70
Acting supreme court justice; supervising judge of the New York County Criminal Court
A goal for the field in the next 10 years: A state legislative amendment to “unlink” the salaries of judges from that of the legislature, so that the salaries of state judges are commensurate with those of their federal colleagues and colleagues in other states. As of this writing, New York State judges have not had a pay raise in more than 10 years, and the salary of a judge in New York is less than half of what a first-year law firm associate is paid. This amendment would give state judges the cost-of-living increase that other states give their judges, and New York would attract better legal talent to the bench — a crucial goal in the battle for equal justice.
The Chapin effect: I had excellent history and English teachers from Classes 10 through 12. They taught me how to write well and to think clearly and analytically, skills that are directly transferable to the practice of law.
originally featured in the 2010 Alumnae Bulletin