Senator John Llewllyn Sampson, Leader of the Democratic Conference was elected to the New York State Senate in 1996. He represents the 19th Senatorial District which encompasses Canarsie, East Flatbush, Parts of Brownsville, Crown Heights, East New York, portions of Old Mill Basin, Spring Creek Towers, and parts of Midwood and Kensington in Brooklyn.
Senator Sampson was born in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to American and Guyanese parents. At the age of two, he moved to the Brownsville/East Flatbush section of Brooklyn with his family, where he grew up. Senator Sampson was educated in New York City's Public School 233, and in 1983 he graduated from Tilden High School in Brooklyn. John received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1987 from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. While in college, he was employed as a paralegal for the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York.
Following his graduation from Brooklyn College, Senator Sampson worked for Proskauer, Rose, Goetz & Mendelsohn as a litigation assistant. In 1988, he enrolled at Albany Law School. During his studies there, he worked with the Department of Environmental Conservation until his graduation in 1991.
In April 1992, Senator Sampson was admitted to the New York Bar, at which time he became a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of New York, representing clients in administrative and housing court proceedings. In 1993, he began working in private practice representing clients in Real Estate, Criminal and Election matters.
In acknowledgment of his many achievements, John has been recognized by the Office of President, Borough of Brooklyn, City of New York, and is the recipient of numerous awards from many organizations, including: The Legal Aid Society; The Kings County Housing Court Bar Association; 100 Women for Justice; Metropolitan Jewish Health System; the Mid-Bedford Lions; the Greater New York Business League; the Outstanding Young American Award; and the Congressional Legal Service Award. The Senator is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Albany Law School. He is a former member of the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center Board of Trustees, and is currently a member of the Brooklyn Bar Association and other distinguished legal organizations.
Senator Sampson has the distinction of being the first African American to serve as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has also served as Chair of the Senate Ethics Committee and the Senate Administrative Regulations Review Commission.
While Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Sampson made his commitment known to improving diversity within the New York State Court System calling for more hiring of minorities and women for judgeships. Senator Sampson also conducted the confirmation hearings for Chief Justice of the New York Court of Appeals, Judge Jonathan Lippman.
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