U.S. Senator Charles Schumer yesterday recommended Gregory Woods, the U.S. Department of Energy’s general counsel, for a seat on the Southern District bench. Woods, 43, joined the government in 2009, when he was named deputy general counsel for the U.S. Department of Transportation. Before that, he was a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York focusing on U.S. and Latin America corporate and financial matters. He also was a member of the firm’s hiring, diversity and pro bono committees, Schumer said in a press release.

A Harlem native who earned his J.D. in 1995 from Yale Law School, Woods began his career as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. He left the agency in 1998 to join Debevoise as an associate.

Woods has performed "a significant amount of pro bono work" with Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, a group that serves the needs of minority law students in the New York area, Schumer said. "Mr. Woods is an accomplished attorney in the public and private sector who has a clear commitment to justice, outstanding dedication to public service and broad experience," he said.

There are six openings on the Southern District bench; the White House has made nominations for four of the vacancies.