Judith E. Turkel, Esq. – Of Counsel, New York Attorney
For many years prior to becoming Of Counsel to The Law Office of Nicholas E. Bowers PLLC, Judith was a partner in the Manhattan law firm Turkel Forman LLP. She and Howard hired Nick Bowers as their associate shortly after he graduated from law school. She and Howard often referred matters to Nick, knowing their clients would be well taken care of and she is delighted to be working with Nick again.
Her practice focuses on residential real estate, family law and all aspects of wills, trusts and estates – including special emphasis on protecting the rights and interests of LGBTQ clients and also providing for companion animals in estate planning. Judith is trained as a mediator and mediates agreements and conflicts for clients who wish to participate in an amicable and constructive process.
From the beginning when she first opened the doors to her own law firm in 1983, Judith was an early champion and pioneer working in what was then considered non-traditional family law. She helped to develop a body of law that would recognize and serve the needs of previously unrecognized families, working extensively with the LGBT community representing clients in adoptions, donor and parenting agreements, and non-marital partnership agreements.
Judith has always combined her professional knowledge and personal dedication to social justice and change to assist non-profit organizations. She was a founding Board member of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of New York; served on and co-chaired the Board of Directors of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and of SAGE: Advocacy and Services for GLBT Elders. As President of the Board of Directors of the LGBT Community Center, she helped lead a $13 million capital campaign.
Judith received numerous awards and recognition, including from Pace Law School (her and Nick’s alma mater); the NYC Bar Association LGBT Rights Committee, Stonewall Community Foundation, the National LGBT Bar Association, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders) and the NYC LGBT Community Center.
In her current pro bono work she serves as board chair of Catskill Animal Sanctuary, a 148-acre refuge in New York’s Hudson Valley for farmed animals rescued from cruelty, neglect, and abandonment, and champions veganism. She is also a board member and strategic advisor at The Animal Defense Partnership. ADP provides pro bono legal and consulting services to nonprofits that advocate for animals; run sanctuaries and rescues; and support plant-based eating. Judith is an avid reader, hiker, world traveler and a committed vegan.