Justice Sondra Miller graduated from Wellesley College in 1950 and Harvard Law School in 1953, as part of the law school’s first class admitting women.
Miller joined the bench in 1983 when she was elected to the Westchester County Family Court. Three years later, she won election to the Supreme Court for the Ninth Judicial District. Justice Miller was designated to the Appellate Division, Second Department in January 1990 by Governor Mario M. Cuomo, the first woman from the Ninth Judicial District to earn this appointment. She left the bench in 2006. Following her retirement, Miller served as distinguished judge-in-residence at Pace University Law School. She also joined McCarthy Fingar LLP as Chief Counsel and head of appellate practice and mediation and arbitration.
Justice Miller has been extremely active in judicial committees and professional and civic organizations, a frequent lecturer, and has received numerous honors for her work as a jurist. She has recently served as co-chair of the New York State Family Violence Task Force, as Director of the Office of Family Services for the New York State Office of Court Administration, Director of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, and Director of the Benjamin N. Cardozo Society. In 2004, she was appointed by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye of the Court of Appeals to chair the newly created Matrimonial Commission to recommend reforms to the divorce process in New York. Justice Miller served as chair of the Ninth Judicial District Committee to Promote Gender Fairness in the Courts, Commissioner of the Governor’s Permanent Judicial Committee on Justice for Children, and Commissioner for the Study of Youth Crime and Violence and Reform of the Juvenile Justice System.
She also served on the Pace University Law School Board of Visitors, as vice president of the Harvard Law School Association, on the New York State Bar Association Committee on Courts and the Community, and served as Director of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Miller was a founding member and past president of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, vice president of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, a founding member of Blacks and Jews in Conversation, and founder of the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert, also serving as its president and vice president.
Appellate Division, Second Department, 100th Anniversary. 21. The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York, 1996. Web. 22 May 2012.
“Hon. Sondra M. Miller.” McCarthy Fingar LLP. Web. 22 May 2012. http://www.mccarthyfingar.com/attorneys/sondra-miller.aspx.
“Justice Sondra Miller.” Pace Law School. Web. 22 May 2012. http://www.pace.edu/school-of-law/faculty-0/judges-residence/miller-sondra.
“Statewide Task Force to Fix Flaws in New Yorkís Divorce Process Is Convened by Chief Judge.” Press Releases. New York State Unified Court System, 1 June 2004. Web. 22 May 2012. http://www.courts.state.ny.us/press/pr2004_10_1.shtml.