Fordham Law

Hon. Denny Chin '78 Receives Awards for Excellence

December 06, 2010

Hon. Denny Chin '78 of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has recently been honored with a series of awards for his judicial excellence.

In October, the New York County Lawyers' Association recognized Judge Chin with the Edward Weinfeld Award at the annual luncheon honoring the federal courts of New York. The award acknowledges distinguished contributions to the administration of justice. It is named for the Hon. Edward Weinfeld, a district judge for the Southern District of New York known for his dedication and fairness.

In November, the American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession announced that Judge Chin would be among the honorees of its 2011 Spirit of Excellence Award. The Spirit of Excellence Awards celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. Awards are presented to lawyers who excel in their professional settings; who personify excellence on the national, state, or local level; and who have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession.

“Judge Chin is the epitome of a trailblazer for underrepresented communities and, in particular, the Asian and Pacific Islander American community,” said Fred W. Alvarez, ABA commission chair. “As the only active Asian American federal appellate judge in the nation, Chin goes above and beyond to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession.”

Judge Chin will receive the Spirit of Excellence Award in February at the ABA's Midyear Meeting.

Also in February Judge Chin will receive Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson Award. The Wilson Award is bestowed annually upon an undergraduate alumnus whose career embodies the call to duty in Wilson's famous speech "Princeton in the Nation's Service." A Princeton graduate, Wilson served as president of the University and as president of the United States.

"Both professionally and personally, Denny Chin's life exemplifies the very best of public service," said Christina Paxson, dean of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. "It is not just that he is a remarkably talented judge. In addition, he has taught law students, conducted extensive pro bono work, and supported numerous nonprofit organizations that provide services to low-income communities. His dedication to public service, broadly defined, makes him a wonderful choice for the Woodrow Wilson Award."

Judge Chin earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Princeton before graduating from Fordham Law in 1978. He was first appointed a federal judge in 1994 by President Clinton to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He was inducted as a U.S. Court of Appeals Judge in June 2010 after being appointed by President Obama.