David Fraiden, A Passion for Justice
By Ray Cline, President Village Reform Democratic Club
“David is just amazing” said Jennifer Rich a pediatrician who worked at a local hospital in Manhattan. “The kids light up when he comes in to perform. It’s a relief for them to forget about their pain and just have fun for a little while.”
His journey to becoming a judge is a testament to the fact that appearances can be deceiving. At first glance, no one would expect this young-looking man to have over 20 years of legal experience, and to have served as a US immigration judge, or be a candidate for Civil Court Judge. In fact, David has experience in a wide variety of legal areas, from civil and criminal matters, to landlord-tenant and family court matters. It’s this diverse range of experience, including conducting jury trials both as a lawyer, and as a judge that sets him apart and makes him an exceptional candidate for any judicial role.
According to David, experience handling a diverse range of cases is crucial for any lawyer wishing to become a judge. It’s easy to have theoretical opinions on the law, but it’s a completely different story when a single mother with children is struggling to keep a roof over their heads, or has been catastrophically injured and can’t work to put food on the table. These are the cases that have the power to transform and shape a lawyer’s perspective on life.
David’s passion for justice started at a young age when he saw the impact of a good lawyer on people’s lives while working with his father, who had started a law firm specializing in helping low-income residents in the South Bronx. His experiences inspired him to pursue a career in law, driven by the belief that every person has a story to tell. David’s unwavering dedication to listen and understand people’s stories has been the cornerstone of his success as a judge, lawyer, and advocate. His passion and commitment are a testament to the power of justice in transforming lives and communities.
In 2016, when harsh immigration policies were enacted under Donald Trump’s administration, David saw an opportunity to use his experience and passion for compassionate justice to help those seeking asylum. He worked hard to be appointed as a US immigration judge, and he dealt with countless families who faced persecution and hardship in their home countries. Although he removed those who had been convicted of terrorist activities and serious violent crimes, he never deported a single family in New York seeking asylum.
Now back in private practice helping low-income residents from around the city, as well as working part-time as an administrative law judge, David Fraiden’s commitment to justice and helping those in need doesn’t stop at his work as a lawyer or judge. Despite his demanding schedule, he still finds time to volunteer as an attorney for the New York chapter of the NAACP and to make a difference in the lives of migrants who have arrived from the Southern border.
Volunteering at the Port Authority, David uses his experience gained as an immigration judge to provide vital support and assistance to those who have traveled for thousands of miles, only to find themselves in a foreign city with little to no knowledge of the language or the legal system.
David’s impact on the lives of countless people cannot be overstated. His unwavering dedication to fighting for justice and helping those who are less fortunate serves as a beacon of hope in a world that can often be bleak and unforgiving. As a reminder that there are still good people out there who are willing to fight for what is right, David Fraiden walks the walk, not just talk the talk. His commitment to his clients, his community, and his fellow human beings is an inspiration to us all.