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Hon. Deborah A. Batts

Adjunct Professor of Law

Telephone: 212-805-0186
Fax: 212-805-7902

U.S. Courthouse
500 Pearl Street
Room 2510
New York, New York 10007-1312

Job Experience

Professor Deborah A. Batts is a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. She was nominated by President William J. Clinton in 1994 and was sworn in as a judge on June 23, 1994 by the Honorable Lawrence W. Pierce of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Judge Batts received her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe College in 1969 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1972 where she served on the editorial board of the Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review. Upon graduation, she clerked for Judge Pierce, then a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York.

In 1973, Judge Batts became an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in the litigation department. In 1979, she became an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York in the Criminal Division. In 1984, Judge Batts joined the faculty at Fordham University School of Law; she became a tenured Associate Professor of Law in May, 1990. While at Fordham, Professor Batts taught Property, Legal Research and Writing, Federal Criminal Pre-Trial Procedure, Domestic Relations and an advanced Domestic Relations Seminar on Non-Traditional Families. Judge Batts resigned her tenure when she went on the bench in 1994, but continues to teach at Fordham as an Adjunct Professor.

From 1973 to the present, Judge Batts has been a member of various bar associations including The Bar Association of the City of New York, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and the Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Greater New York (LeGal). In addition, she has served on various committees of these associations as well as on the Boards of several educational institutions. Judge Batts was awarded an honorary degree by CUNY School of Law in 1998. She is currently a member of the CUNY School of Law Board of Visitors.

In 1990-91, she served as Special Associate Counsel of the Department of Investigation of the City of New York. From 1990 to 1994, Judge Batts was a Commissioner on the Law Revision Commission, State of New York.

In June, 2001, Judge Batts was a Team Member of the Crowley Program in International Human Rights’ Mission to Ghana, West Africa to observe the impact on the status of women in the area of inheritance of PNDCL 111, passed in 1985.

In October, 2001, an oil portrait of Judge Batts by Simmie Knox, which had been commissioned by the Harvard Law School Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Alumni/ae Committee, was unveiled at Harvard Law School and accepted on behalf of the school by Dean Robert C. Clark.

Professional Affiliations

The Bar Association of the City of New York

The Metropolitan Black Bar Association

The Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Greater New York (LeGal)

CUNY School of Law Board of Visitors


Harvard Law School, JD, 1972

Radcliffe College, 1969