Honorable Lubbie Harper, Jr.The Honorable Lubbie Harper, Jr. was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut. He attended local public schools and graduated from Wilbur L. Cross High School in 1961. He went on to graduate from the University of New Haven with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1965. He was awarded a Masters degree from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work in 1967 and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1975. On May 13, 2012, Justice Harper received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Quinnipiac University School of Law, and on May 19, 2013, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of New Haven.
Justice Harper was nominated for a judicial appointment by Governor John G. Rowland on May 22, 1997, and the oath of office as a Superior Court Judge was administered to him on July 7, l997. On January 5, 2005, Governor M. Jodi Rell nominated Justice Harper for elevation to the Appellate Court and the oath of office as an Appellate Court Judge was administered to him on January 26, 2005. On February 23, 2011, Governor Dannel P. Malloy nominated Justice Harper for elevation to the Supreme Court and the oath of office as Supreme Court Justice was administered to him on March 16, 2011. Following his tenure on the Supreme Court, Justice Harper currently sits by designation on the Appellate Court.
Justice Harper is a member of the bars of the State of Connecticut, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He is currently the Chairman of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparity in the Criminal Justice System as well as Connecticutís Representative to the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts. Justice Harper is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Legal Studies Program and the Institute for Social Justice at the University of New Haven and is a participant in the Judicial Branch's Speakers Bureau Program. Justice Harper is also an Associate Fellow of Berkley College at Yale University.
Justice Harper previously served as the Chairman of the Edwin Archer Randolph Diversity Award Committee, a member of the Rules Committee of the Superior Court, a participant in the Judicial Branch's Mentor Program and a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Judges Association.
Justice Harper was president of the Board of Directors of the New Haven Legal Assistance Association for 12 years and a clinical tutor in the trial practice course at Yale University School of Law. He has been a long-time community activist and volunteer who served as a board member of many civic and professional organizations, including the Shirley Frank Foundation, the Children's Museum of Greater New Haven, the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation, the Dixwell Legal Rights Association and the Urban League. Justice Harper is a former member of the Board of Governors of the University of New Haven, the Board of Directors of the University of Connecticut School of Law Alumni Association and the New Haven Civil Service Commission.
Prior to his judicial appointment, Justice Harper was engaged in the private practice of law for over 20 years, specializing in litigation, municipal finance, labor law, education and administrative law, arbitration and contract negotiations. He represented the New Haven Board of Education as its principal lawyer in all matters related to labor relations and education law for approximately 20 years.
On May 25, 2017 the University of New Haven celebrated the establishment of the Justice Lubbie Harper, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund; a fund designated, primarily for inner city students from New Haven regardless of race or ethnic background. On April 14, 2016, Justice Harper received the John Eldred Shields Distinguished Professional Service Award presented by the Connecticut Bar Association. On May 28, 2015, Justice Harper was the recipient of the Sappern Fellowship Award presented by the Yale Sappern Memorial Fund. On May 14, 2015, the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association presented Justice Harper with its Trailblazer Award. On June 6, 2013, Wilbur L. Cross High School dedicated and named its Library Media Center in Justice Harper's honor. On February 27, 2013, Justice Harper was the Community Recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award presented by Eastern Connecticut State University. On May 12, 2011, the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity, Inc. presented its 2011 Edwin Archer Randolph Diversity Award to Justice Harper. On November 13, 2010, the Prince Hall Scottish Rite Masons (32nd and 33rd degree) awarded Justice Harper their Silver Eagle Award, the organizationsí highest award for public service. On November 9, 2010, the New Haven Tap-Off Club inducted Justice Harper into its Hall of Fame. On November 6, 2009, the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches named Justice Harper one of the "100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut."
On May 13, 2008, the New Haven Public School Foundation, Inc. presented Justice Harper with its Annual Alumni Legacy Award. On February 22, 2008, Justice Harper received the Rev. Dr. Edwin R. Edmonds Humanitarian Award presented by the West Haven Black Coalition. In 2007, Justice Harper was the recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award presented by the Delta Phi Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. On May 25, 2006, the Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP awarded Justice Harper its Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Award. On February 17, 2006, James Hillhouse High School in New Haven named and awarded an annual leadership award in Justice Harper's honor. Justice Harper was the recipient of the Connecticut Chapter of the Men and Women for Justice, Inc. Achievement Award on October 29, 2005; the Connecticut Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section First Annual Diversity Award on October 19, 2005; and the Bridgeport Bar Association Criminal Law Committee Judicial Integrity Award on June 9, 2005. Justice Harper was inducted into the Inaugural Class of the Wilbur L. Cross High School Hall of Fame on March 30, 2005. Justice Harper was also the recipient of the University of New Havenís Alumni Association 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award on April 12, 2003.