The Legal Aid Society Honors Seymour W. James, Jr.

 Seymour W. James, Jr.

Seymour W. James, Jr.

On Thursday, September 13th, over 150 staff and friends of The Legal Aid Society came together at the offices of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP to celebrate the career of Seymour W. James Jr., who in June retired after 43 years of service.

Mr. James, a graduate of Brown University and the Boston University School of Law, began work at The Legal Aid Society of New York City as a staff attorney in the Kings County office of the criminal defense division in the 1970s, and ascended through the ranks to become Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Defense Practice in 2005 and Attorney-in-Chief in 2014. A former president of the New York State Bar Association (2012-2013), his leadership positions in esteemed legal organizations are too many to list but include: membership in the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association; Board of Directors for the Correctional Association of New York; Board of Directors for the National Legal Aid and Defender Association; membership on the New York State Justice Task Force and membership on the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform.

The evening’s program included a special video message from Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, and remarks from former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman; Kwesi Dash, Staff Attorney with The Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Practice and Member of the Black Attorneys at Legal Aid Caucus; S. Maquita Moody, Supervising Attorney with The Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Practice; Jared Trujillo, Staff Attorney with The Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Practice and Association of Legal Aid Attorneys LGBTQ Caucus Representative; Shomari Ward, Staff Attorney with The Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice and Member of the Attorneys of Color at Legal Aid Caucus; Richard J. Davis, Chair of The Legal Aid Society’s Board of Directors; and Seymour W. James, Jr.

Adriene Holder, Attorney-in-Charge of The Legal Aid Society’s Civil Practice, served as the emcee of the evening.

Special thanks to our speakers, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and to Mr. James for all he has done on behalf of New Yorkers in need.