Syracuse University

Joanne F. Alper

Vice Chair,  Syracuse University Board of Trustees, Elected 2006

The Hon. Joanne Alper ’72 has been a judge on the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Circuit of Virginia, which covers Arlington County and the City of Falls Church, since 1998. Prior to that, she was chief judge on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for the Seventeenth Judicial District. Alper earned her bachelor's degree from The College of Arts and Sciences in 1972 and her J.D. degree with honors from George Washington University Law School in 1975. From then until her elevation to the bench in 1991, she was in private practice with the Arlington law firm of Cohen, Gettings, Alper & Dunham.

Throughout her career, Alper has been involved in numerous professional organizations and activities. She is currently a member of the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, the Education Committee of the Judicial Conference of Virginia, the Virginia Model Jury Instructions Committee, and the Supreme Court of Virginia Historical Commission. She previously served as a member of the Judicial Council of Virginia, the Commission on Virginia's Judiciary in the 21st Century, the Judges Advisory Committee to the Committee on District Courts, and the Executive Committee of the Virginia Judicial Council for District Courts, and as president of District 4 of the National Association of Women Judges.

Alper is a longtime director and current chair of the Arlington County Bar Foundation and has served as president of the Arlington County Bar Association, the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and the Conference of Local Bar Associations of the Virginia State Bar, and as chair of the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar. She is a frequent speaker at state and national continuing education programs.

For Syracuse University, Alper is a vice-chair of the Board of Trustees, a member of the Executive Committee and the Audit Committee, and chair of the Budget Committee. She helped create the interdisciplinary Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media, bringing the College of Law, the Maxwell School, and the Newhouse School together in a first-of-its-kind program. She serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of the College of Law, served as president of the SU Alumni Association from 2004 to 2005, and is a Benefactor and a Pathfinder. She and her husband, Paul, endowed the Paul E. and Hon. Joanne F. Alper ’72 Chair in Judiciary Studies in the College of Law, and created the Muriel S. Alper Memorial Award for SU students participating in the SU Abroad program. The Alpers are parents of Michael ’99 and Brooke ’04.

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