The City of Albany, New York is celebrating the retirement of a ground-breaking county judge, William Carter. Judge Carter became the first Black judge in the city when Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings appointed him in 2002.
Judge Carter graduated from the State University of New York at Albany in 1981 and the Albany Law School at Union University in 1991. He served as a state trooper before going to law school.
After he passed the bar in 1992, Carter served as an Assistant District Attorney for three years for the Albany County District Attorney’s Office. He then served as an Assistant Attorney General before entering into private practice, then resuming work with the District Attorney’s Office.
After his appointment to the bench in 2002, Judge Carter was elected to remain in that position from 2003-2016. In 2016, he was elected to the Albany County court.
Judge Carter’s trailblazing led to the election of three more Black jurists in Albany since 2002. Jude Carter has also served as an adjunct professor for Albany Law School, inspiring the next generation of Black attorneys and jurists.
About his retirement, Judge Carter said: “Being a judge is a very important job and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our community ... I now have over 30 years of state service, with almost 20 of those as a judge.”
When speaking of Judge Carter to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, a former professor of Carter’s recalled: "He used everything he had learned to become a zealous, professional, ethical and effective criminal defense attorney. Importantly, he carried those attributes back to the district attorney's office when he became chief assistant. He had the respect of his colleagues, the defense bar and the judges and was known for both his knowledge of the law and his willingness to listen to all sides of a case."
Judge Carter is 61 years old, and his retirement will take effect at the end of March 2021.