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Municipal Court Department 1

Cynthia S. Leung

The Honorable Cynthia S. Leung has unanimously been chosen to serve as chief judge of the Las Vegas Municipal Court by her colleagues. Chief Judge Leung has presided over Las Vegas Municipal Court Department 1 since 2008, and takes over as chief judge from Department 5 Judge Cedric Kerns.

Chief Judge Leung was appointed to the Municipal Court by the Las Vegas City Council in February 2008, was elected in 2009, and again in 2015. Chief Judge Leung has previously served as chief judge for Las Vegas Municipal Court from 2011-2013 and as President of Nevada Judges of Limited Jurisdiction in 2014, being named Judge of the Year by that organization in 2015. 

Chief Judge Leung is a member of State Bar of Nevada, State Bar of California, Clark County Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Judges Association and the Nevada Judges of Limited Jurisdiction. She has served on the Supreme Court Access to Justice Committee and the Specialty Court Funding Committee.

Chief Judge Leung also presides over the Women in Need of Change (WIN) Court. WIN Court is a trauma-responsive diversionary court that addresses criminal behaviors of women chronic offenders arrested in the city of Las Vegas. It is an intense 18-month program of accountability and personal growth under the constant direction of Chief Judge Leung and the WIN Court team. 
Chief Judge Leung has been recognized for her work with WIN Court and its successes.  She is the recipient of the Foundation for Recovery’s Community Partner Award in 2010 and was recognized in 2014 by Concerned Asians for Nevada, a Development Organization, and the Asian American Advocacy Clinic and Asian Bar Association. In 2016 she was the inaugural winner of the Cultivating Beauty Leader of Excellence Award from the International Church of Las Vegas Human Trafficking Committee. In 2017 she was the first recipient of the Pay It Forward Award from the Chinese-American Citizens Alliance.

She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California - Berkeley, and juris doctorate from Southwestern School of Law. She obtained state bar licenses from the state of California (1995) and state of Nevada (1997).

Chief Judge Leung moved to Las Vegas in 1997. She worked as a criminal defense attorney before joining the city of Las Vegas Office of the City Attorney, where she was assigned to the Criminal Division as a deputy city attorney in 1999.