Carol Robles-Román, former deputy mayor for legal affairs and counsel to Mayor Michael Bloomberg for 12 years, will become president and CEO of Legal Momentum, a national nonprofit that advances the rights of women and girls, the group announced Tuesday. She starts April 21.
Robles-Román, 51, led the city’s efforts to combat domestic violence and human trafficking through the creation of Family Justice Centers in all five boroughs. She also pushed for increased ethnic, gender and geographic diversity among mayoral appointments to the city’s Family, Criminal and interim Civil Court judgeships. Of Bloomberg’s 86 judicial appointments, 44 were women and 26 were minorities.
Robles-Román was drawn to Legal Momentum, she said, because its mission matched her passion for improving access to justice. “I was looking to connect with something very powerfully,” she said. In the Bloomberg administration, “I felt so passionately about the work I was doing and the people I was doing it with, and I was looking to recreate that.”
In her new role, she will oversee a national judicial education program that trains judges and attorneys on how gender bias undermines fairness in criminal, civil, family and juvenile law; work to expand legal rights and services for domestic violence victims; and advocate for policy changes to ensure economic security for women, children and families. The group has about 30 employees between two offices in New York and Washington, D.C.
Her pet issue, she said, is closing the gender pay gap and advocating for the promotion of women to leadership roles in the judiciary, academia and corporations nationwide. Gender disparity “doesn’t make sense because it’s not keeping up with the talent pool,” she said. “So that’s something I’m going to be championing personally.”
Robles-Román, a graduate of New York University School of Law, serves on the boards of the National Association of Women Lawyers and the City University of New York. She is married to Southern District Judge Nelson Roman.