Opening Doors


Journalist Sara Rimer profiled New York State Supreme Court Justice La Tia W. Martin, the founder of the Scales of Justice Academy, a program based at Fordham Law School and administered by Professor Leah Hill.

A decade ago, Bronx-born-and-bred New York State Supreme Court Justice La Tia W. Martin wanted to find a way to encourage young women from disadvantaged families to do what she had done: pursue a career in the law. So she founded Scales of Justice Academy, a nonprofit summer college preparatory program for students from New York City area public high schools.

Based at Fordham University and enrolling about 50 students annually, Scales of Justice enlists a small army of lawyers, judges, and law professors as volunteer mentors and teachers. The free three-week program culminates in a trip to Washington, D.C., and a private tour of the US Supreme Court, where, as Martin (Questrom’76) reminds the students, another woman from the Bronx, Sonia Sotomayor, sits as the first Latina, and the second woman, on the country’s highest court.

Martin considers Sotomayor a friend. “There’s a success story for you,” she says.

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