PATERSON – Mayor-Elect Andre Sayegh today named Khalifah L. Shabazz as corporation counsel in his upcoming administration. Shabazz, a lifelong Paterson resident, will be first African-American to hold the position.
“I am honored that Khalifah is embracing this opportunity to serve in my administration,” said Mayor-Elect Sayegh. “She brings a tremendous amount of legal acumen and experience to the position. I’m looking forward to working with her. I have every confidence that Khalifah will serve our city well in protecting our community’s interests.”
“I am honored to be a part of Mayor Sayegh’s upcoming administration, and look forward to doing all I can to help Paterson realize the great potential that is within its resources and its people,” said Shabazz.“I can’t help but be reminded of a quote that says, ‘Life may take you unexpected places, but love always brings you back home.’ It really is my love for Paterson and the Mayor-Elect’s vision that makes this opportunity to exciting.”
Shabazz is the daughter of Betty Shabazz, who worked for nearly 30 years for the city serving as the first African-American city treasurer and first African-American director of economic development. Khalifah Shabazz grew up in Paterson’s 2nd and 4th wards. While a student at P.S. No. 26, she gained great notoriety as a basketball player, becoming the first girl to play on boys’ teams at school and in the city league.
Shabazz previously served as corporation counsel in the City of East Orange in the administration of Mayor Lester Taylor. She currently serves as deputy counsel to the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and previously worked in the Trial Bureau of the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to founding her own private law practice in Newark ten years ago, Shabazz worked as an associate attorney at private law firms in northern New Jersey where she handled cases pertaining to personal injury and municipal litigation.
Shabazz holds a Juris Doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law in Flushing, N.Y. and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College in Bronxville, N.Y. She has been admitted to the bar in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court in New Jersey. Among her many achievements, Shabazz was awarded Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver’s Shirley Chisolm Award for Legal Advocacy in 2014.