Haitian American Judge Overcomes Challenges, Succeeds on N.Y. Bench

Author  Edited from CMC

NEW YORK – Haitian American Dweynie Esther Paul is a Kings County (Brooklyn) Civil Court judge currently presiding in Queens County Family Court in New York.

Webp.net resizeimage 5Judge Paul, who was born in Queens to Haitian immigrants, became the first Haitian American to be elected a Civil Court judge in the New York in 2015.

She is the first generation in her family to be born in the United States. Her mother is from Port-de-Paix (north Haiti), and her father is from Port-au-Prince, the Haiti’s capital.

Paul said she doesn’t take for granted how her decisions directly impact people’s daily lives. So, she said, she is careful to preside over her cases with “compassion, patience, understanding and with an open mind.” The judge said she has realized that her greatest success stories come from the families she has empowered to sift through their conflicts and pain to reach their own settlement agreement.

Paul, a graduate of George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C, said her first exposure to the law was as a young child in Family Court. She attended the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook, where she obtained a dual bachelor’s degree in political science and social science, with a minor in child and family studies. She also studied in London, England at Middlesex University. She also obtained a master’s degree in public policy at Stony Brook.

She urged young people aspiring to enter the legal field to “remain encouraged throughout the process.

“The journey can be challenging but the reward is great,” she said. “So, don’t give up!”