Last year, my hometown federal courthouse in Detroit got a new judge. Her name is Shalina Kumar and she is the first federal judge of South Asian descent in Michigan. Her father is a physician from India.
A year earlier, the western side of the state got a new federal judge named Hala Jarbou. She is the first Chaldean American federal judge in the nation. She migrated from Iraq as a child with her family.
Judge Kumar and Judge Jarbou are welcome additions to the bench. Besides their wisdom and experience, they bring a small measure of diversity to our federal judiciary, which is still largely white and largely male.
Times are changing. This 2022 ABA Profile of the Legal Profession includes a new chapter with many details about the growing diversity of the federal judiciary – and how far we still have to go.
For example, consider:
• The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in St. Louis, has 18 judges, but only one is female.
• Alaska’s population is 40% non-white, yet all seven of its federal trial judges are white.
• Sixteen states with a combined 104 federal trial judges have no federal judges of color.
This new Profile report is a treasure trove of information about lawyers and the legal field. Take a look. I am confident you will learn something new about our profession.
Reginald M. Turner
President, American Bar Association