- She becomes the first Bangladeshi American and Muslim woman to be elected as a judge in New York State.
Bangladeshi American Soma Syed has been elected as a civil court judge in New York City’s Queens County. She is the first Bangladeshi American and Muslim woman to be elected as a judge in New York State.
“This result is a big inspiration for all Bangladeshis. I will continue doing my voluntary work to support the community,” Syed told TBN 24. A practicing attorney, Syed is the immediate past president of the Queens County Women’s Bar Association and chairperson of the New York State Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service.
“Tonight, Queens made history by electing the first Bangladeshi American Judge in Queens and NYS,” she tweeted on Nov. 2. “Our commitment to diversity, & fair & impartial justice must continue. Thank you Queens!!!”
Syed emerged victorious in the June primary, where she was locked a tight race with Queens Democratic Party-endorsed candidate Michael Goldman. Syed received 91,040 votes, while Goldman got 88,558. Unlike the mayoral and other races, this race was not a ranked-choice vote.
She moved to the United States from Bangladesh at age 12, as per her website. After graduating from IS 238, Jamaica High School, she attended City College, and then went to Albany Law School, after which she started her law practice.
In an interview before the June 22 New York City primaries, Syed told Rockaway County’s local paper The Wave that part of her running for judgeship “is an extension of my legal advocacy work and community work.” The Wave reported that in Rockaway, after the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Syed “brought a group of friends to the peninsula to assist in clean-up operations.”
She told the newspaper that she “wants to change the way people view the court system as a whole.” She continued: “I strongly feel that people should not look upon the court system with fear. People should look upon the court system as a place where they can get their issues addressed, and if they have grievances they can get results that they can be proud of.”