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Judge Rina Gurung- Nepalism ChangeMaker 2023

Updated: Jan 15

ChangeMaker 2023: Honorable Rina Gurung has made history as the first lawyer of Nepali American heritage appointed as a Judge of the Housing Part of the Civil Court of the City of New York. Judge Gurung is also the first Judge of Nepali America heritage appointed or elected in the State of New York. Her remarkable achievement stands as a testament to her unwavering dedication, hard work, and perseverance.


This milestone extends beyond Judge Gurung’s personal success; it resonates as a source of pride for the entire Nepali community. By breaking barriers, she has paved the way for aspiring Nepali American lawyers, exemplifying the positive impact one can make in the legal profession.


Before her judicial appointment, Judge Gurung served as a court attorney to another Judge in Housing Part of the Civil Court of the City of New York.  Prior to her appointment as a court attorney, she served as a staff attorney at Staten Island Legal Services, a crucial arm of Legal Services NYC (LSNYC), offering free legal assistance to low-income individuals across the five boroughs of New York City. Her focus on protecting tenants’ rights, preventing homelessness, and addressing displacement showcased her commitment to public interest law.


Judge Gurung’s dedication to public service extends throughout her career. As an Equal Justice Works VISTA legal fellow at the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center, she concentrated on preserving project-based Section 8 properties across New York City.


Actively engaged in various bar associations, Judge Gurung serves as a co-chair of the Government Service and Public Interest Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY). Judge Gurung is also a member of the Board of Directors of Adhikaar, a women-led community and workers’ center. Furthermore, Judge Gurung is one of the commissioners of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission which educates and advises decision makers in the New York Court System on issues affecting both employees and litigants of color, and implements recommendations developed to address said issues. Her commitment to serving communities of color and marginalized populations reflects her ongoing dedication to public interest law.


Judge Gurung earned her Juris Doctor from the New England School of Law in 2013 and her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Queens College of the City University of New York in 2009. Her academic achievements underscore the foundation of her legal expertise and commitment to public service.

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