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D.C. Lawyer Urged for V.I. Judgeship

F5-lewis Wilma A. Lewis, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia from 1998 to 2001, is a search committee's top choice to fill a federal district court vacancy in the U.S. Virgin Islands. On Dec. 30, the president of the Virgin Islands Bar Association wrote to the territory's delegate to Congress, Donna M. Christensen, urging her to recommend Lewis to the president for appointment as a U.S. district judge on the island of St. Croix.

If appointed, Lewis would be the first female to become a U.S. district judge in the V.I. -- a distinction that would cap a career of firsts. As U.S. attorney in D.C., she was the first woman to hold that post. Earlier, from 1995 to 1998, she was the first black to hold the post of inspector general for the U.S. Department of the Interior. Until recently, she was a litigation partner in the D.C. office of Crowell & Moring. Currently, she is managing associate general counsel for litigation at Freddie Mac and a lecturer at The George Washington University Law School.

A native of the Virgin Islands, Lewis never practiced law there. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1981, she went to Washington to join Steptoe & Johnson as an associate. She left there in 1986 to become an assistant U.S. attorney in D.C., eventually rising to deputy chief of the Civil Division and then associate solicitor for the Division of General Law at the U.S. Department of the Interior. The bar nominating committee recommended her after interviewing and reviewing a number of applications. "The Committee found that Attorney Lewis evidenced all of the qualities believed necessary to be extremely well-qualified for the position, over and above any other aspirant, as judge of the U.S. District Court." If the president were to nominate Lewis, her appointment would be subject to Senate confirmation.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on January 12, 2009 at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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