FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Judith E. Turkel

Turkel Forman LLP

New York, NY, USA


Over an active career spanning more than thirty years, Judith has been a respected attorney in private practice and a leader in the LGBT community. She is currently a partner in the Manhattan law firm Turkel Forman LLP.  Judith's primary areas of practice include family law, adoptions, real estate, wills, trusts and estates with a special emphasis on the needs of LGBT people and others in unrecognized families.   She also represents small business clients who come to her for counsel on general business matters. Another area of practice is in employment contract review, specifically for Not-for-Profit organizations.  Most recently, Judith has been trained in collaborative law and as a mediator and is expanding her practice to include mediation.

Judith was a founding Board member of the lesbian and gay bar association in New York, now known as LeGaL. She served as Co-Chair of the Board of Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund during a time when AIDS was devastating the LGBT community and lesbians and gay men had virtually no legal protection, nor recognition of any kind.  Judith also served as Vice President of the Paul Rapoport Foundation, a ten million dollar foundation funding organizations working on behalf of lesbians, gay men and people with AIDS.  She served for 6 years as President of the NYC LGBT Community Center overseeing huge expansion and a major capital campaign.  She served on the Board of SAGE, Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders from 2005-2011 and as Board Co-Chair from 2007-2011, where she helped to lead the organization as it grew to meet the challenges of aging in the 21st Century.   Since 2012, she has been an active volunteer with Catskill Animal Sanctuary, an organization that rescues and rehabilitates farm animals and horses, and advocates for the abolition of institutionalized cruelty to animals. Judith currently is Chair of their Development Committee.

Judith is a frequent lecturer and panel participant at CLE and community programs and has been a recipient of numerous awards throughout her career.  Most recently, in 2012, she was honored by the New York City Bar Association LGBT Rights Committee, recognized by SAGE with the Paula Ettelbrick Community Service Award at their annual awards gala, and received the 2014 Distinguished Service Award from Pace Law School.

Judith and her partner Jennifer Costley live with their cairn terriers in New York City and enjoy weekends in their upstate New York home and taking hiking trips to remote locations around the world.

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