Leah Williams Duncan, Esq. for
Magisterial District Judge
The Democratic nominee - Pittsburgh 26th & 27th wards
Personal Notes . . .
"I know the responsibility that comes with this position. I began "wearing the robe" over twenty years ago as a Hearing Officer in the Court of Common Pleas. This experience has uniquely prepared me to serve as Magisterial District Judge."
For more than 20 years, I presided over a courtroom as a Hearing Officer in the Family Division. I have rendered decisions in matters of family support and in civil and criminal contempt actions on a daily basis. I know to be firm when needed but I also know when a more gentle approach is the way to go. I remember lamenting to one of my mentors, a Family Division Judge, that half the people who left my courtroom were angry with me. She reminded me that given the nature of what we do, it wouldn't be surprising if everyone left angry. For this reason, I am committed to promoting an atmosphere where whether they prevail or not, everyone who comes before me leaves my courtroom feeling that they had their rightful day in court and that their voice was heard.
"I am no stranger to hard work"
I entered Law School as a single parent with two very young daughters. I didn't have much time to socialize or network. My days consisted of classes at the Law School, working my part-time job as a Store Detective at Joseph Horne's Department Store and then being home to care for my children. This photo was taken at a reception at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law a few days before my graduation. I am a witness to all that reaching our goals may not always be easy, but it can be done."
"I am not deterred by the fact that no district
within the City of Pittsburgh may have ever elected
an African American woman as
Magistrate/Magisterial District Judge.
This actually motivates me"
My first job as an attorney was representing parents of children who were involved in the court system through Children, Youth & Families Services. Very early on, I realized that in order for our court system to work properly, we need people from all backgrounds and all walks of life in key positions. I grew up in this district and I raised my children here. I have watched our community progress and I look forward to seeing us go even further.