The New Jersey State Senate makes history with the swearing-in of Fabiana Pierre-Louis to the New Jersey State Supreme Court. Pierre-Louis is the first the first Black woman to serve on the state’s highest court.
The State Senate unanimously affirmed Pierre-Louis, a Democrat, last Thursday replacing Associate Justice Walter F. Timpone, who will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 later this year. At age 39, Pierre-Louis is the youngest Justice on the bench.
John Wallace was the last Black State Supreme Court Justice to serve. He was on the bench for 2003 from 2010.
“Many years ago, my parents came to the United States from Haiti with not much more than the clothes on their backs and the American dream in their hearts,” Pierre-Louis said in one report. “I think they have achieved that dream beyond measure because my life is certainly not representative of the traditional trajectory of someone who would one day be nominated to the Supreme Court of New Jersey.”
Gov. Phil Murphy nominated Pierre-Louis in June to the State Supreme Court. The appointment was sent to the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee before being confirmed by the State Senate.
“I’m incredibly proud that the Senate has unanimously confirmed Fabiana Pierre-Louis as the next Associate Justice to serve on New Jersey’s Supreme Court,” Murphy said. “Fabiana is an exceptionally talented attorney, and will now have the historic distinction of becoming the first Black woman to be seated on our state’s highest court. I am honored to have put her name forward, and to see someone with a different set of life experiences and perspectives on our Supreme Court, a judicial body where New Jerseyans from all walks of life turn for justice.”
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin said is statement that Pierre-Louis’ confirmation was well-deserved based on her background.
I am confident Ms. Pierre-Louis’ demonstrated intellect and legal acumen will be tremendous assets for our state’s highest court. She brings vital diversity in both age and gender,” he said. “Above all, her integrity and character are unquestionable.”
Prior to her confirmation to the State Supreme Court, Pierre-Louis was a partner at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, where she previously worked as an associate in her first three years out of law school.
Pierre-Louis served for nine years in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and the Attorney-in-Charge of the Camden Office, the first woman of color to hold that position in the history of the District.
Before serving as the Attorney-in-Charge of the Camden Office, Pierre-Louis also served as the Attorney-in-Charge of the Trenton Office from November 2016 to December 2018 and was the first woman of color to hold that position as well. While serving in this capacity, Pierre-Louis participated in the creation of Trenton Reentry Court, a program that provides support services to newly released federal offenders.
In addition to working in both Trenton and Camden, Pierre-Louis previously worked in the Newark Office in the General Crimes Unit and the Organized Crime and Gang Unit.
Currently a resident of Mount Laurel, Pierre-Louis was raised in Irvington for most of her childhood. She received a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and graduated from Rutgers Law School-Camden with High Honors. Immediately following law school, Pierre-Louis served as a law clerk for the Honorable John E. Wallace, Jr. of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, who occupied the seat for which she will be nominated.
Pierre-Louis is a board member of the Rutgers Law School-Camden Alumni Association and a trustee with the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey. She is a prior board member of the Haitian American Lawyers Association of New Jersey, and a member of the Garden State Bar Association, and the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey.