It’s going to be a Judge Judy family affair at New York Law School on May 26.
With the now Judy Justice host delivering the commencement address, that’s when three generations of Judith Sheindlin’s family will be on stage at Brooklyn Barclays Center for the private law school’s graduation ceremony. As a part of the 131-year old NYLS’s first in-person grad event in three years, 1965 alum and donor Sheindlin will be awarded her second honorary degree from the establishment by her daughter and class of ’93’s Nicole Sheindlin. Then Grandma will be extending the legacy to the ex-Judge Judy host’s granddaughter and new NYLS grad Sarah Rose.
“My return to New York Law School to celebrate three classes of graduates, to present a degree to my granddaughter and to receive an honorary degree from my daughter represents the capstone of my career which began over a half century ago,” said the small screen staple and ex-Manhattan Family Court Judge. “Grateful is an understatement.”
Earlier this year, not long after Judy Justice debuted on Amazon’s IMDbTV, Sheindlin made what I’m told in a “significant donation” to NYLS to establish the Judge Judy Sheindlin Honors Scholars Program. Aimed to promote women in the legal fields, the project offers a full-tuition scholarship and summer fellowship placement to ten candidates who display financial need and excellent academic records.
Which, following up on a program Sheindlin and her daughter first introduced in 2006, is all good with NYLS.
“We are beyond thrilled for Judge Judy Sheindlin to return to Brooklyn and her alma mater for New York Law School’s first in-person commencement since the pandemic began and are elated for our students who have worked tirelessly towards this moment to celebrate and share with their loved ones,” said NYLS Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell today. “Judge Sheindlin is an outstanding example of the heights grit and hard-work can take our graduates, and her success in our profession began at a time when there were few women,” he added. “In a year where we celebrate the resiliency of our NYLS community, and that of our City, she embodies this spirit perfectly.”
NYLS has 373 total J.D. and LL.M. candidates graduating this year, with another 330 grads from the class of 2020 and 319 grads from the class of 2021. As was true in many colleges and schools across America, the latter two years didn’t see any traditional ceremony because of the Covid-19 pandemic. To that end, 2020 and 2021 NYLS graduates who had virtual ceremonies during their years can participate in the in-person event in May if they want, the school says.
As Covid’s grip on the nation loosens, the NYLS ceremony is indicative of what can be expected to be a jam-packed season of big-name speakers, big crowds and big schools in the next few months.