Betty E. Staton’s career included almost 20 years on the Kings County Family Court bench before returning to the Bedford Stuyvesant Community Legal Services Corporation (BSCLS) where she began her legal career in 1979. She is currently President of Brooklyn Legal Services (BLS), an organization that has provided free legal services to poor and low-income Brooklyn residents for 50 years.
Judge Staton graduated from New York University School of Law, and worked at BSCLS for eight years, including several years as Deputy Director and Director of Community Outreach and Education. In March 1987, she became a founding partner in Boyd Staton & Cave, the first African American female law firm in New York. She was an instructor at several colleges, including New York City College of Technology, where she taught Business Law for more than 15 years.
In April 1991, former Mayor David N. Dinkins appointed Judge Staton to a 10-year term on the New York State Family Court, assigned to Kings County. She was reappointed in 2001 by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and served until her mandatory retirement in 2004. After retirement, Judge Staton served as a Judicial Hearing Officer until her resignation in July 2011, and served as Project Director of BSCLS until August 2012.
Judge Staton belongs to several bar associations, legal and community organizations, including Black Child Development Institute, Age Friendly Advisory Board, Volunteer Lawyers Project Advisory Board, NYS Bar Association and NBA Judicial Council. She has been a panelist and presenter at various events and she has also appeared as a guest on television.
Judge Staton has two sons, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. She loves to dance and is the 2013 winner of the Stars of New York Dance, a New York City dance competition that provides scholarships for aspiring young dancers.
A servant leader at the Emmanuel Baptist Church and a worship leader for the Prime Time Senior ministry, Judge Staton feels blessed to have served her community throughout her legal career. Her greatest hope is that her work and daily life reflect the highest recommendation of God’s love for us.