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Member Profile

Rachel H. Nash


“If not for the City Bar, I most likely would not have the position I have today, and for this I am forever grateful,” said Rachel H. Nash, a per diem Administrative Law Judge in Manhattan.

Judge Nash’s direct route to the bench can be traced to her attendance at the City Bar’s “How to Become a Judge” program in 2003, which she found out about from the 44th Street Notes. At the program, she learned about the various judgeships she could aspire to and about the judicial application process. “It was on a Saturday, and I’ll never forget it because former Mayor Koch and Judge Lippman and Judge Pfau were all there,” Judge Nash recalls.

For seven years now, the New York native has presided at 66 John Street over a variety of matters involving city agencies and citizens, including alleged violations of the Environmental and Health Codes of New York City. “It’s so interesting and it changes daily,” she says. “It’s truly the people’s court. I see a cross-section of the city I don’t think any other job could provide, with real issues of the type that affect everyone at some point in their life.”

Judge Nash jokes that her choice of schools must have foreshadowed her career path, since they were both named after judges: Brandeis and Cardozo. “I feel that being a judge is the ultimate culmination of what you learn in law school and what you practice as a litigator,” she says. “It brings all the skills of being an attorney together. The work challenges me on a daily basis to revisit the statutes and see how different nuances are applied to them.”

Despite her solid legal education and internships at the New York City Law Department and the Department of Consumer Affairs, Judge Nash says it wasn’t until she became a City Bar member in 2000, on the advice of one of her mentors at Cardozo, Barry Scheck, that she became fully immersed in the legal field and her path became clear. “The City Bar is definitely a center of the profession,” she says. “There are so many different types of events on cutting-edge issues that affect us in New York City, and people globally as well.” She adds, “I’m impressed with how receptive and helpful the staff is, including the wonderful staff at the library; I’ve been going there since I studied for the bar exam.”

Judge Nash, who is currently on the City Bar’s Administrative Law Committee, says she appreciates Association President Sam Seymour’s initiatives to reach out to the next generation of lawyers and law students. “That was me not so very long ago,” she says. “I know firsthand the value of being mentored and assisted at the City Bar, because it helped me reach my professional goals and obtain a legal position I love.”

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