Learn About Shah

Manhattan voters deserve judges in Civil Court with integrity and honesty. Judges need to be qualified, independent, fair, and impartial. Having a wide range of legal experience and dedication to the community also counts.

Shah Ally has shown leadership as chair of Manhattan Community Board 12, which represents Inwood and Washington Heights. Shah began his private law practice in 2007, and he has been a member of Manhattan Community Board since 2012. He runs his own family law firm, has experience as a trial attorney, and is an Adjunct Professor at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus.

Statement of Candidacy

The “American Dream” is alive and well. With your support, we can make history together. If elected, I will be the first Muslim born Judge to be elected in New York County! I am honored to be the first but I certainly don’t want to be the last. The need for diversity of the bench is necessary for the integrity of the judiciary.

I have already made history in 2018! I was found “Most Highly Qualified” by all three screening committees held in New York County – the first time that has ever happened! I was also found “Most Highly Qualified” by the 2016 Independent Screening Committee.

My path to the bench was a long journey. My “American Dream” started when my family of nine immigrated to the United States from Guyana, South America. Growing up, my family was poor, but we were grateful for the opportunity to pursue a better life. I grew up in the South Bronx, and my family received public benefits which included food stamps and housing assistance.

We struggled but my parents would tell us that education and sacrifice will get us to the “American Dream.” My six siblings and I have followed that recipe for success. I’m proud to say that my siblings have accomplished the following: we have two doctors in the family (a heart surgeon and pediatrician); two nurses; a banker; my kid brother who has the best job in the world – he works for the New York Yankees and with your help, we will add Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York to that list!

The lessons I have learned from my humble beginnings have made me devote my career to public service. My experience as a government attorney has molded my knowledge for a career on the bench. My legal career began in 2001 when I was hired as a staff attorney for the Administration for Children’s Services.

I then became an Assistant Corporation Counsel with the New York City Law Department. My position of Assistant Corporation Counsel taught me the complex and demanding world of Juvenile Delinquency practice. I started in the Bronx division where I prosecuted a range of cases from misdemeanors to serious felony cases. Then my practice grew as I was appointed to the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit, where I was solely responsible for the prosecution of all sex crimes in New York County. I firmly believe that my time in the Law Department prepared me for the task of being a Judge. It taught me to be understanding and firm, but at the same time flexible. Most of all, it taught me to make compassionate, impartial, and intelligent decisions.

My career in private practice also reflects my commitment to public service. I’m a public defender in Family and Criminal Courts. I accept assignments of cases for indigent litigants. I believe that people deserve quality representation regardless of the ability to pay.

Further, my work outside of courtroom demonstrates my preparedness for the bench. My current position as an Adjunct Professor at the Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. I teach Family Law to Master’s level students in Mental Health Counseling, has provided a nonconventional avenue for understanding this complex area of law. A successful judge must often undertake the role of an educator, which is why I believe that this experience as a professor has further prepared me for a career on the bench.

I am also extremely proud of my work as Chairman of Manhattan Community Board 12 (Washington Heights & Inwood). Serving as the Chairman provides me with the opportunity to interact with our community and solve simple and complex issues facing our residents. I am also on the Board of Directors of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ), the Acacia Network and the Community League of the Heights (CLOTH).

I firmly believe that Judges are public servants who are tasked with serving our communities. The combination of my work experience and community services demonstrate my understanding of what it takes to be a successful Judge. I look forward to your support!
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