Judge Keisha Alleyne: A Judicial Champion for Social Justice

Posted By Samantha Thompson

In 2021, Brooklyn, New York, witnessed the election of a remarkable individual to the Civil Court bench. The Honorable Keisha Alleyne, a native of Brownsville, Brooklyn, has distinguished herself through her legal acumen as well as through her unwavering commitment to social justice and community empowerment.

In the landscape of the judiciary, where tradition often prevails, Judge Keisha Alleyne stands out not only for her legal acumen but also for her steadfast commitment to social justice. Her journey to becoming an advocate for change is not just a professional trajectory but a personal mission, rooted deeply in her experiences and the community from which she hails.

Early Life and Influences

Growing up in a community that faced its share of social and economic challenges, Alleyne witnessed first-hand the disparities in justice and opportunities afforded to her surroundings compared to more affluent areas. This early exposure to inequality sparked her resolve to pursue a career where she could make a difference. Education played a pivotal role in her upbringing, with her family and mentors emphasizing its value as a tool for empowerment and change.

Shaped by Education and Community Work

Born and raised in the very community she now serves, Judge Alleyne’s journey into law began at Nazareth Regional High School, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Alleyne pursued a Juris Doctorate at Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, where her commitment to social equity took root in practical experience through volunteer work with various nonprofit organizations.

Alleyne’s journey into law was propelled by her commitment to champion the rights of those often sidelined and silenced by society based on their gender, race or sexual orientation. This decision was deeply influenced by her formative college years, during which she personally faced and fought against clear racial and gender inequalities. Witnessing firsthand the systemic barriers faced by minorities and women on campus, Alleyne was struck by the profound impact that legislative and judicial actions could have on these issues. This realization sparked a deep-seated desire to engage directly with the law, not merely as a practitioner but as an arbiter of justice.

Before her ascension to the bench, Judge Alleyne had an impressive 18-year career as a corporate attorney. She prided herself on her pro bono work, especially her efforts to assist minority and women-owned businesses and providing free legal tax advice to low-income families. She also served as In-House Corporate Staff Counsel, where she continued to advocate for equity through her legal expertise.

Alleyne continues her quest for equality as the Co-Chair of the Equal Justice in the Courts Committee, which focuses on ensuring fairness, equality, and impartiality in the administration of justice

photo courtesy Judge Keisha Alleyne


Mentoring to Create Leaders Within the Community

Beyond the courtroom, Judge Alleyne’s dedication to community service spans over 25 years. She is an active member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Kappa Zeta Chapter in Brooklyn, and her commitment extends through numerous avenues. She has mentored hundreds of young people, facilitating educational and leadership development opportunities. She also conducts workshops aimed at maintaining and sustaining generational wealth, promoting equal access to resources, and demystifying the court system.

Her service includes significant roles in several non-profits, the National Bar Association, Judicial Friends, and the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association.

One of her most notable roles has been as a deeply involved mentor and Youth Coordinator for the Archonettes, a group of high school-aged young women committed to the ideals of scholarship, sisterly love, and community service. For 13 years, Judge Alleyne has provided ongoing support to these young ladies, organizing college tours and workshops in STEM, college application processes, public speaking, and advocacy.

Through Judge Alleyne’s work as a mentor to young women, she is able to demonstrate by example how they can effect societal change. This mentorship allows her to actively show the impact of leadership and advocacy against all forms of discrimination.

Legacy and Future Directions

Judge Keisha Alleyne’s legacy is still in the making, but her impact is undeniable. She embodies the role of a jurist who uses her position to effect real change, driven by a deep understanding of the law’s power and limitations. As she continues her work, her story serves as an inspiration for future generations of lawyers and judges who seek to merge their profession with their passion for social justice.

Through her judicial career, she has become a beacon of hope and a symbol of progress, showing that the law can be an instrument of change, aligning with her belief in the power of the judiciary to rectify societal wrongs and foster an inclusive environment for all.

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