UConn Alum Named State’s First African-American Chief Justice

University of Connecticut School of Law Diversity Week Luncheon Panel

Richard A. Robinson ’79 (CLAS) has been appointed as the next chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Here he is pictured as a speaker on a panel at UConn Law in 2016. (Spencer Sloan for UConn)

Richard A. Robinson ’79 (CLAS), has been appointed as the next chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Robinson’s nomination by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was unanimously approved by the state Senate and House of Representatives this week.

He is the first African-American chief justice in Connecticut Supreme Court history.

“Make sure that your reach exceeds your grasp,” Robinson once advised students. “Always keep trying – always go for the higher level … And don’t ever forget where you came from.”

A native of Stamford, Connecticut, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from UConn and earned his Juris Doctor degree from West Virginia University in 1984. He was appointed as a judge of the Connecticut Appellate Court in 2007 and a justice of the Supreme Court in 2013.

Robinson was staff counsel for the City of Stamford Law Department from 1985 to 1988. In 1988, he became assistant corporation counsel in Stamford, where he remained until his appointment as a judge of the Superior Court in 2000.

Robinson’s career is complemented by an array of public and judicial service. He served as president of the Stamford branch of the NAACP from 1988 to 1990, and from 1999 to 2000, he was chairman of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

He was named the winner of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award for Integrity in 2017. In 2010, Robinson was awarded the Connecticut Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Diversity Award.

Robinson has also been active at UConn, delivering the keynote address for the 2015 Black History Month celebration at UConn Stamford, and participating as a judge in the first High School Invitational Moot Court Exhibition at UConn School of Law.

By Combined Reports | Story courtesy of UConn Today

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