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Currently Special Counsel, Holland Has Already Served At A High Level On The Court For Over 6 Years; Born in Rochester, Holland Is A Top Graduate Of Cornell Law School & The University of Rochester; Schumer Says Holland Has Extensive Knowledge Of The Legal Issues That Most Frequently Arise In Federal Court

Holland is the Second Woman Schumer Has Nominated To The WDNY Bench, Which Would Make The Formerly All-Male Court Half Active Female Judges

Schumer: Upstate NY Born, Raised, And Trained, Holland Will Bring Tremendous Legal Acumen & Expertise To The Western District Federal Bench

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that he has recommended an exceptional Rochester native, Colleen Holland, to President Biden for nomination to serve as a judge on the United States District Court for the Western District of New York. Schumer said that Holland, who was officially nominated by President Biden this morning, would bring tremendous expertise, legal acumen, a love for the community, and deep institutional knowledge of the Court to the bench.

“Colleen Holland, a true public servant and Rochester native, has already dedicated years of her career to the WDNY District Court – allowing her to gain vast expertise on the most important legal issues in Western NY while developing a rare and deep institutional knowledge of the Court that would make her transition to the bench seamless. Ms. Holland has a passion for the law and in ensuring the ongoing vitality of our democracy and truly understands the critical role that the federal judiciary plays in not only maintaining the rule of law, but also serving as a source of justice,” said Senator Schumer. “Ms. Holland is an accomplished lawyer, with profound integrity and legal intellect, the ability to command a courtroom, and a passion for the preservation of the rule of law that would bring dignity and honor to her post. She had very modest upbringing and forged her way to the very top of the graduating class at Cornell Law before dedicating herself to public service in our legal system. I am proud to recommend Rochester’s own, Colleen Holland, for the federal bench, and I applaud President Biden for officially nominating Ms. Holland to serve on the United States District Court for the Western District of New York.”

Throughout his time serving as Senate Majority Leader, Schumer has made it a priority to confirm countless female judges, resulting in more district benches where women make up at least half of full time judges. In New York, the U.S. District Courts for both the Northern District and Eastern District, which were overwhelmingly male, have a majority women bench among active judges.

If confirmed, Ms. Holland will sit on one of the few 50 percent female benches in the country, as Schumer has focused on elevating women to these critical positions. 94 of 140 Biden judicial nominees that Senate Democrats have confirmed have been women, drastically increasing the number of female judges across America, including in Upstate NY. Most recently, Schumer singlehandedly helped turn the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York from having almost no female representation, to a majority women bench among active judges when Capital Region native Anne Nardacci was sworn in this past March. Judge Nardacci is the third woman Schumer had recommended for nomination to serve on the NDNY bench, following Judge Mae D'Agostino and Chief Judge Brenda Sannes. When Schumer first started recommending judges as a senator in 1999, there were no females on the Upstate NY federal benches in WDNY and NDNY. Currently, there are 4 active women judges in the Upstate U.S. District Courts, and Ms. Holland’s confirmation would make her the 5th out of the 9 active federal district court judges in Upstate NY. In New York as a whole, including the federal benches in WDNY and NDNY, as well as EDNY and SDNY, 26 out of 47 active federal district court judges are women, thanks in large part to Schumer’s efforts.

The bio for Colleen Holland appears below:

Colleen Holland, 39, is a passionate public servant and accomplished law clerk who spent the earliest days of her career in commercial and business litigation before transitioning to several different roles at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York for over 9 years beginning in 2014. She currently serves as Special Counsel to Chief Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford and has been with the Court as a law clerk since 2017. Before coming to the federal court, Ms. Holland worked as a litigation associate at several firms in Rochester, NY, including Nixon Peabody LLP, LeClairRyan, P.C., and Boylan Code LLP. She is a graduate of University of Rochester (2006) and Cornell Law School (2010), where she graduated first in her class. Ms. Holland developed a strong passion for federal law at Cornell and has spent her time working for the WDNY Court gaining extensive substantive knowledge of the legal issues that most frequently arise in federal court. She has personally drafted hundreds of judicial opinions for some of the most common cases that arise in the U.S. Western District Court, such as appeals of denials of social security benefits. Ms. Holland understands the critical role that the federal judiciary plays in ensuring the ongoing vitality of our democracy and has a deep appreciation for how important the district court’s function is that she would bring to her role on the bench.

Ms. Holland was born in Rochester, NY before moving to first to Delphi Falls, NY and then during her teen years to Cortland, NY, where she grew up in a working class, religious home of modest means with her 4 sisters, her mother who worked in a factory before becoming a stay-at-home mom, and with her father who works as a truck driver.  With the encouragement and support of her elementary school teachers who recognized her potential, and who Ms. Holland credits with changing the course of her life, she excelled in her education. With personal determination, hard work, and sacrifice she worked to justify the faith that those teachers had placed in her and ultimately graduated valedictorian of her high school and is the first attorney in her family. She currently resides in Rochester, NY with her husband and two children.