In endorsing Paula Engel, County Executive Ryan McMahon said, “As the Chief Welfare Attorney for Onondaga County, representing the most vulnerable in our community, Paula has proven to have the knowledge, experience and integrity to serve as our next Family Court judge. That is why I am proud to endorse her for this important position.” McMahon continued, “Paula is a seasoned trial attorney, incoming president of the Bar Association and has spent years leading charitable organizations that focus on children and family welfare issues. Paula will make us all proud as the next Family Court Judge for Onondaga County.”
Paula has fought her entire legal career in Syracuse to protect the rights of the under-served and marginalized. As a former prosecutor and now, Onondaga County’s Chief Welfare Attorney, as well as a volunteer leader of civic organizations like the YMCA, Paula has led efforts to enhance the quality of life for our community residents.
Paula has nearly 40 years of experience in the legal profession. She began as a paralegal in New York City at the age of 18. As an undergrad, she attended Syracuse University where she pursued a degree in marketing management and finance, and was named All-University Marshal for her graduating class, honoring her academic excellence as well as her commitment to the campus and the larger community. She went to Syracuse University College of Law, and won multiple awards in appellate competitions. She maintained a 100% trial conviction rate as an Assistant District Attorney. She will take the position of Onondaga County Bar Association president in June of 2020.
As our next Family Court Judge, Paula will Use her team-building approach to ensure that people impacted by crime, poverty, mental health and substance abuse can develop an effective service plan with the help of their own support networks: their friends, family, educators and service providers. When people are engaged in their own healing, and are given the right services in a timely manner, families have better, quicker outcomes in Family Court cases.