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February 28, 2024

Biden Nominates St. Francis College Alumna to Federal District Court

Sparkle Sooknanan

President Joseph R. Biden has nominated St. Francis College (SFC) alumna Sparkle L. Sooknanan ’02, pictured above, to serve as a district judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The nomination was announced on February 21 as part of the president’s 46th round of judicial nominees.

To date, Sooknanan has had an impressive career in the law. Since 2023, she has been the principal deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, having previously served as a deputy associate attorney general from 2021 to 2023, after first working as an appellate attorney in the Civil Division from 2012 to 2013. In between her stints at the Justice Department, Sooknanan worked in private practice at Jones Day in Washington, D.C., becoming a partner in 2020. Other career highlights include serving as a law clerk for Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the U.S. Supreme Court from 2013 to 2014.

Sooknanan, who came to New York City from her native Trinidad and Tobago at age 16 to further her education, is a first-generation college student. After completing her undergraduate studies at SFC, she went on to graduate, in 2010, from Brooklyn Law School, which she attended part-time at night while holding a full-time job.

In addition to her B.S. from St. Francis College and J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, both of which she earned summa cum laude, Sooknanan holds an M.B.A. with distinction from Hofstra University. In 2017, as part of SFC’s Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series, she moderated a talk at the College with Justice Sotomayor.

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