Rochester City Court Judge Teresa Johnson Named 2011 RIT Minett Professor

Service to university will include programs in non-traditional courts and dispute resolution

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Teresa Johnson

Rochester City Court Judge Teresa Johnson has been named the 2011–2012 Minett Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. Johnson, who has served in the Rochester City Court for more than 20 years, will serve as an adjunct faculty member in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts for one academic year.

Established in 1991, Minett appointees are distinguished Rochester-area minority professionals from business, government and nonprofit organizations. Appointed by RIT President Bill Destler and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Kevin McDonald, Minett Professors share their professional knowledge and experience as adjunct faculty, program leaders or coordinators of special projects.

“We are excited to welcome Judge Johnson into the RIT family as a Minett professor,” says McDonald. “Her expertise and experience as a judge and attorney will be an invaluable resource for all of our students, faculty and staff.”

Since 2007, Johnson has been a supervising judge for Rochester City Court and an acting county court judge. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, she presides over a regular civil and criminal calendar. She also brings previous experience serving the Rochester Drug Treatment and Monroe County Mental Health Courts. Johnson was recently re-elected to a third, 10-year term.

Johnson chairs the Seventh Judicial District Gender Fairness Committee of the New York State Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts, whose role is to address and remove gender bias in New York courts. She is a member of the Rochester Black Bar Association, the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys and a trustee for the Monroe County Bar Association.

Prior to becoming a judge, Johnson was a trial attorney with the law firm Harter Secrest and Emery, first deputy county attorney for the Monroe County Law Department and a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Division of Civil Rights, in Washington, D.C.

Johnson was admitted to the bar in 1979, received her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley and did undergraduate work at Yale University, graduating in 1975. She is an active member of the Board of Directors for the local nonprofit agency the Center for Youth, mentors high school and middle school-age girls and regularly speaks in schools and other community venues.

Last year’s Minett professors were Antoinette McCorvey, chief financial officer for Eastman Kodak Co., and James Norman, president and chief executive officer of Action for a Better Community.