Published on April 14, 2015 | by LawNews
Alumnus Judge Robert Pipia ’92 Profiled in New York Law Journal
Hofstra Law alumnus Judge Robert Pipia ’92, a first-term Nassau County District Court judge, was interviewed by New York Law Journal about his first months on the bench.
In the Q&A, published on April 10, 2015, Pipia, who has a genetic disorder that has rendered him wheelchair bound and limits the use of his hands, discusses dealing with his disability, what attracted him to a career in law, why he wanted to become a judge, and the challenges of getting elected and adjusting to his judicial duties.
Below is an excerpt from the interview.
Q: Why did you want to become a judge?
A: In my opinion, as a lawyer in a career of public service, there is no greater achievement.
Q: When you campaigned, did you find you had to convince skeptics who thought you were not capable of the job?
A: During the campaign, no one verbalized a concern of my ability to perform the duties of District Court judge. I believe that running an enthusiastic campaign in which you communicate your qualifications answers any skepticism. In my 2014 campaign, supported by my nomination by Nassau County Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello, I visited thousands of homes and attended as many community events as possible. Through this effort I was able to show a spectrum of the electorate the energy I could bring to the bench.
Q: Now that you’re on the bench, what’s it like?
A: It’s the most challenging professional position I have held. The constant change of issues creates an atmosphere which is never dull.
Q: How do attorneys and their clients respond to you? How do you want them to respond to you?
A: I believe attorneys have been conducting themselves as they would before any member of the bench. My goal is to create an atmosphere in which they feel they will be heard and treated with the respect they deserve. My parents taught me that those who want respect must give it.