New York City Mayor appoints Indian-American as an interim civil court judge

Deepa Ambekar, whose appointment as interim Civil Court Judge in New York City was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio May 1. (Photo: courtesy Mayor de Blasio’s Office)

New York, N.Y. – Mayor Bill de Blasio announced May 1, the official appointment of an Indian-American as interim Civil Court Judge and the reappointment of three Family Court judges.

Judge Deepa Ambekar is appointed to Civil Court and will be serving in Criminal Court, according to a press release from the Mayor’s office.

These judges have primarily dedicated their careers to work in the public sector and have demonstrated a commitment to serving with impartiality, compassion, and respect, the press release from the Mayor’s office said.

Ambekar served with the New York City Council for three years as Senior Legislative Attorney and Counsel to the Committee on Public Safety. Prior to that, she was a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division, and a litigation associate at a private firm. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Rutgers Law School.

Judge Ambekar has another passion as well. According to, a website for storytellers, in her free time, “she thinks about going to the gym and teaches a “Storytelling for Lawyers” class.” She has some story recordings on the website including one entitled, “Fair and Lovely” about “A young woman who tries to stop her true colors from showing,” the website says.

In a ‘story slam’ featured on YouTube March 25, 2015, Ambekar’s talent as a story-teller is apparent. She relates the  incident of her trepidation about revealing she was vegetarian at a high-powered lunch in the private law firm where she hoped to be employed, and ordering “sweetbread” ignorant of the fact that it contained meat. “I learnt this very important lesson that summer. I learnt the lesson of actually coming to terms with who you are. Because if you don’t, you end up eating sheep testicles,” she quips to a bout of laughter from the audience.

The other judicial appointments announced by Mayor de Blasio include Judge Jeanette Ruiz, Judge Javier Vargas, and Judge Judith Waksberg, all three for Family Court.

“Every New Yorker deserves access to a fair and equitable justice system,” Mayor de Blasio is quoted saying in the press release, adding, “I know these judges will ensure due process is afforded to all who come before their court.”

Born in Naperville, Illinois, Ambekar was raised in Randolph, New Jersey according to news reports. She is married to Steven Chavez, a criminal defense attorney in New York. According to a Baby Registry on Bed Bath & Beyond, the couple recently had a baby girl.



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