Prof. Cynthia Straker Pierce, 1927-2011

We learned last week that our former colleague Prof. Cynthia Straker Pierce died at age 82.  Prof. Pierce taught ADR and Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation at St. John’s in the 1980s and 1990s.  After retiring in 1998, she lived for many years in Sag Harbor with her husband, retired Second Circuit Judge Lawrence Pierce, who survives her.  Her obituary from the Sag Harbor Express is after the jump.

Cynthia Straker Pierce, a resident of Sag Harbor, passed away suddenly on November 30, 2011. She retired as a law professor from St. John’s University Law School in Queens, N.Y. and previously served for 20 years as an attorney at the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C. and as a senior attorney in the General Counsel’s Office of the U.S. Department of Transportation. She also taught at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

She received many awards, honors, and recognitions and served on various boards and commissions, most notably: appointed by the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals in 1988 to serve on the Judicial Commission on Minorities in the Legal Profession; a member of the Committee on Character and Fitness for the First Department, NYS Appellate Division; over 20 years service on the board of the Hebrew Hospital Home in the Bronx and Westchester Counties; a member of the Hunter College Hall of Fame; and, Mediator, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. In 1953, she was active in the Bedford Stuyvesant Political League’s campaign, which successfully sought the election of Lewis F. Flagg, Jr. as the first African-American judge to be elected to the Bench in Brooklyn.

Prof. Pierce was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., July 20, 1929, to Milton and Enid Bayley Straker. She graduated from Hunter College and Brooklyn Law School where she earned two graduate degrees. A member of the American Bar Assn. and the District of Columbia Bar Assn., she was admitted to practice in the federal courts in Washington, D.C. and New York.

Married to Lawrence W. Pierce, a retired judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, she is also survived by many loving family members and friends.

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