First Indian-American Assemblywoman in New York snags important committee assignment

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New York Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, Democrat representing District 38, speaking in the State legislature about the Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: courtesy Jenifer Rajkumar.

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie has appointed Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar as Chair of the Subcommittee on Diversity in Law.

Rajkumar, who is the first Indian-American woman to be elected to Albany, will be chairing this newly created Subcommittee which is part of the influential Assembly Judiciary Committee.

“The Assembly Majority is committed to balancing the tilted scales of justice, and part of that is ensuring that our criminal justice system reflects the diverse state it serves,” Speaker Heastie is quoted saying in a press release. “Assemblymember Rajkumar’s work throughout her career and her
commitment to diversity in our legal system will be an asset to the subcommittee and to New York State,” he added.

A graduate of Stanford Law School, Rajkumar has been on prestigious top lawyers’ lists in the state and has been involved in civil rights law and pro-bono work through her life.

In 2015 and 2016 she was selected to Super Lawyers’ New York-Metro Rising Stars List.

In 2017, she built and led the New York State Liberty Defense Project, a first-in-the-nation multi-million dollar state project to assist immigrants across the state with legal counsel.

Rajkumar has litigated class action cases on behalf of workers, tenants and women at a national public interest law firm. She also focused on combating corporate fraud and excess in qui tam suits against multinational corporations.

Assemblyman Chuck Lavine, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, stated, was also all praise for Rajkumar’s appointment.

“Already recognized as an individual who has committed herself to fighting for human rights, Assemblymember Rajkumar’s appointment as Chair of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Diversity in Law is yet another historic first,” Lavine said, adding, “Assemblymember Rajkumar is the first Chair of this critically significant Subcommittee which will advance justice and equity in New York.”

Rajkumar said she was honored by the appointment.

“As Chair of this committee, I will focus on access to justice for minority voices in our courtrooms, on diversity in the judiciary, and on creating a pipeline of young, diverse leaders in the state’s legal system,” she said.

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