Justice Sandra L. Townes earned degrees from Johnson C. Smith University in 1966 and Syracuse University College of Law in 1976. She was employed at the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office for ten years, as an assistant district attorney (1977-1983), senior assistant district attorney (1983-1986), and chief assistant district attorney (1986-1987).
Townes joined the bench in 1988 as a judge for the City Court of Syracuse, a position she held until 1999. She then served as a Justice for the State Supreme Court for the Fifth Judicial District from 2000 until 2004. In 2001, she was designated as an Associate Justice for the Appellate Division, Second Department by Governor George E. Pataki. Justice Townes served on the Appellate Division until 2004, when she became a Judge for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, by nomination of President George W. Bush.
Judge Townes taught English prior to her legal career. She was also an adjunct professor at Syracuse University College of Law from 1987 until 1995 and at Onondaga Community College from 1992 until 2001. Townes is a member of the Onondaga County, New York State, and New York State Women's Bar Associations, and has served on the Legislative Committee of the Judiciary of the State of New York and the Anti-Discrimination Panel for the Fifth Judicial District.
"Biographical Directory of Federal Judges: Townes, Sandra L." History of the Federal Judiciary. Federal Judicial Center. Web. 3 Aug. 2012. http://www.fjc.gov/servlet/nGetInfo?jid=3056
"Sandra L. Townes." CourtAlert, 2003. Web. 3 Aug. 2012. http://www.courtalert.com/JudgeTownes.asp