South Asian Public Service Award

An Indian-American woman judge here has become the first recipient of a US public service award in recognition of her contributions in the field of law.

Queens Senior Assistant District Attorney and newly elected Civil Court Judge Ushir Pandit-Durant was honoured with the ‘South Asian Public Service Award’ by the Office of Immigrant Affairs under Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

The award was given to Pandit-Durant coinciding with the commemoration of Diwali by the office of the Queens District Attorney.

Pandit-Durant and her family emigrated from India to the US when she was 10 and went on to excel at school and in her legal career.

Earlier this month she became the first South Asian-American elected to a judgeship in Queens County.

Pandit-Durant attended New York Law School and in 1987 joined the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Following assignments in the Criminal Court and Supreme Court bureaus, Pandit-Durant was transferred to the Special Victims Bureau, where she investigated and tried difficult cases with the most vulnerable victims.

A 15-year veteran appellate attorney, Pandit-Durant was elected to the New York City Civil Court and in January next year she will join the honored ranks of the judiciary.