Judge Preska was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York on August 12, 1992 and entered duty on September 18, 1992. She served as Chief Judge of that Court from June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2016. Judge Preska received a B.A. from the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York in 1970, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1973, and an LL.M. in Trade Regulation from New York University Law School in 1978.
Following graduation from Fordham, Judge Preska was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and an associate and, beginning in January 1983, a partner at Hertzog, Calamari & Gleason until her induction as a United States District Judge in September 1992. Judge Preska was nominated to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in September 2008. She received the Louis J. Lefkowitz Public Service Alumni Award from Fordham University School of Law in 1992 and served several terms as a Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Fordham Law Alumni Association. The Fordham Law Alumni Association awarded her its Medal of Achievement in 1998. She received a Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from the College of St. Rose, Albany, New York, in 1998, the Edward J. Weinfeld Award from the New York County Lawyers Association Federal Courts Committee for Excellence in the Administration of Justice in 2001, the Charles Carroll Award from the Catholic Lawyers Guild in 2004, the Stanley H. Fuld Award for outstanding contributions to the development of commercial law and jurisprudence in New York State from the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association in 2009, the President’s Special Award from the New York Women’s Bar Association in 2011, the Barbara Jordan Outstanding Public Service Award from Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International in 2012, the Women in Business Law Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, the Boris Kostelanetz President’s Medal from the New York County Lawyers Association in 2014, the James Madison Award from the New York City Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society in 2014, the Honorable John E. Sprizzo Award for commitment to the Rule of Law from St. John’s Law School in 2015, the Distinction in International Law and Affairs Award from the New York State Bar Association in 2017, and the Fordham University President’s Medal in 2018. She has lectured at Securities Industry Association Legal & Compliance Division, the International Bar Association, and numerous other venues, and was a contributing author to Federal Civil Practice published by the New York State Bar Association in 1989.
Judge Preska is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the Federal Bar Council, the New York County Lawyers Association, and the New York State Bar Association. She has served as a member of the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction of the Judicial Conference of the United States, as chair of the Benchbook Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors of the Federal Judicial Center, and currently serves on the New York Federal-State Judicial Council. Judge Preska has also served on the Advisory Board of the New York Chapter of the Federalist Society and, from 2001-2009, on the New York Regional Panel for the Selection of White House Fellows. Judge Preska has also served as a Trustee of Fordham University.