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Fabiana Pierre-Louis blazes trail to become first Black woman to sit on Supreme Court bench

Black Women in Education

Fabiana Pierre-Louis blazes trail to become first Black woman to sit on Supreme Court bench

by Amy Byrnes via

Like the iconic statue holding the teetering scales of justice, New Jersey Supreme Court Associate Justice Fabiana Pierre-Louis also is performing a balancing act as she takes her seat to become the bench’s first African American female justice.  

Of her confirmation last summer, in the midst of social and racial justice protests across the country, Sen. Troy Singleton said, “(Fabiana Pierre-Louis) is uniquely qualified, and as the first Black woman to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court, she will undoubtedly ensure that ‘equal justice’ are not mere words, but guiding principles met with action.” 

The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Pierre-Louis, 40, has managed to combine her working-class roots and hard work ethic taught by her parents with a successful career in law, along with the challenges of parenting two young boys during a pandemic and leading the way for generations of younger women of color. 

“It’s so important for future generations to see someone who looks like them,” Pierre-Louis said. “I hope to be an inspiration to them.” 

When the Rutgers Law School grad and former New Jersey assistant district attorney was nominated by Gov. Phil Murphy last June to the state Supreme Court, Pierre-Louis was unanimously confirmed and…

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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