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Judge J. Machelle Sweeting  

Civil Court Judge, Only African American Woman Jurist & Acting Justice of the New York State Supreme Court

Judge J. Machelle Sweeting is the Acting Justice of the New York State Supreme Court. Sweeting was elected as a Civil Court Judge from the historic 10th Municipal Court District in Harlem, New York. She is the only African American woman Jurist currently assigned to the New York County Family Court, where she presides over cases involving the most intimate disputes about child custody, visitation, guardianship and domestic violence between family members. In addition, Judge Sweeting presides over the nation’s first state-wide “Remote Access” Part, which allows litigants to appear before the court by video from a secure location, when appearing in person poses a harm or undue hardship.

Judge Sweeting is the first and only legal practitioner admitted to practice law in New York, Washington DC, the 4th Circuit of Virginia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
Throughout her legal career, Judge Sweeting has remained steadfast in her commitment to ensuring that equality and access to justice remain at the forefront of our legal system. At birth, she was told by doctors that she would never walk, let alone run. Notwithstanding this prediction, by the age of nine, she had set several national records in the 400 and 800 meter runs. From this experience, she learned early in life that regardless of one’s environment, with faith, hope and perseverance, one can overcome the odds. Through education and an athletic scholarship, she worked her way up from the Polo Ground Housing Projects in Harlem, New York to college, through law school, and to her current position as a Judge.

Prior to ascending to the bench, Judge Sweeting served with distinction as an Assistant Corporation Counsel. She also served as a Special Referee in the Supreme Court Matrimonial Division; an Administrative Law Judge; an Assistant District Attorney; a Law Clerk to a Supreme Court and Appellate Justice; and as an Adjunct Law Professor.

Judge Sweeting earned her law degree from Rutgers University School of Law in Newark New Jersey; received a Certificate of Legal Education from the Eugene Dupuch Law School in the Bahamas; and studied law in the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, and Botswana Africa.

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The Paper Chase [FINAL]
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Speech Topics


Law; Women; African American History; Education; Motivational Speaker

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