Woman of the Year – Celebrating 10 Years: Looking back at 2007 winner Sabita Singh

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Sabita Singh was named the 2007 INDIA New England Woman of the Year following her groundbreaking appointment as the first judge of South Asian descent in Massachusetts in November 2006. Singh stills serves as a judge of the District Circuit Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

At the time, Singh told INDIA New England she was overwhelmed with the outpouring from the South Asian community in New England following her appointment. “As an immigrant group we measure ourselves to see where we’ve been able to make inroads in society,” she said at the time. “I am happy to be the figurehead of our community opening up to the justice system.”

Singh’s role as a district court judge requires her to travel throughout Massachusetts, presiding over both criminal and civil cases. This includes both bench trials and juror trials.

Singh also told INDIA New England that she relished bucking the stereotype of a judge being a male profession. “People still expect a man to be on the bench particularly in fields where you’re sentencing someone to jail, people are not used to seeing women in that role,” she said. “It is an awesome thing to realize the kind of trust that has been placed in me.”

A graduate of The Pennsylvania State University in 1987, Singh then graduated with a degree from the Boston University School of Law in 1990.

She served as a law clerk of the justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court, before becoming a Massachusetts prosecutor. As a member of the prosecutor’s office, Singh also trained law enforcement officers at police academies, drafted and promoted legislation, and conducted investigations of public authorities. In 1998, Singh argued for the state when the infamous Louise Woodward case went before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Singh has also practiced both criminal and civil law at Bingham McCutchen LLP, an international law firm based in Boston. In her criminal practice, she represented clients before state and federal courts and advised clients on internal investigations. In her civil practice, Singh concentrated on product liability and consumer class-action suits.

Singh also served as an assistant U.S. attorney for Massachusetts in Boston and a special counsel for criminal civil rights enforcement.

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