Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz announced today that New York State Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti will join the Maurice A. Deane School of Law as executive director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law and serve as a special advisor to Dean Eric Lane. She will begin her new post in September.
At Hofstra Law, Judge Prudenti will lead a center devoted to improving the treatment and representation of children and families involved with the legal system, and provide counsel to the dean on a broad range of issues.
Her career on the bench has spanned more than two decades, culminating in her appointment in 2011 as chief administrative judge. During her tenure, Judge Prudenti’s achievements include reducing judicial backlogs, working to increase Family Court judgeships and helping to create a pro bono scholars program that encourages law students to pursue public service.
“Judge Prudenti is an exceptional jurist, a skilled administrator and an innovative leader whose experience meeting the challenges of a complex court system will be invaluable to our students, our dean and, most importantly, to the children and families that this center serves,” said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz. “We are honored and privileged to welcome her to the University.”
Hofstra Law is considered a leader in family law education, with a program known for bridging the gap between curriculum and modern family law practice that emphasizes community service and public policy projects. The Center for Children, Families and the Law, established in 2001, is an interdisciplinary program that defines family law broadly to include divorce and separation, child welfare, adoption and juvenile justice. Its clinics and research focus on the intersection of these issues in the family court system.
“While I will greatly miss the courts, I am excited to begin the next chapter of my career at Hofstra, where I hope to continue advancing the cause of justice by assisting some of the most vulnerable among us — the children and families of our state,” Judge Prudenti said.
Judge Prudenti’s career on the bench began in 1991, when she was elected to the New York State Supreme Court. A native of Suffolk County, in 1995 she became the first woman elected surrogate in the county. After six years as surrogate, she was re-elected to the Supreme Court. She served as Administrative Judge for the Tenth Judicial District and an Associate Justice for the Second Judicial Department. In 2002, she was appointed the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department in New York State, the first woman to hold that position. She also was designated as a judge of the Court of Appeals for the hearings related to the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.
“Judge Prudenti has the ideal lawyer’s values, creative ideas, and the ability to get things done,” said Dean Eric Lane. “She will be a great asset to the Law School and will enrich the entire Hofstra Law community.”
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals, who appointed Judge Prudenti as chief administrative judge, said: “Judge Prudenti’s departure is a great loss to the New York State courts, but an incredible gain for the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. She has made tremendous contributions to the New York State Judiciary throughout her illustrious, longstanding court career. Chief Administrative Judge Prudenti, over the past four years, has been a guiding force during difficult times for the court system and the public we serve. I am very grateful to have had the privilege and honor to work so closely with her for more than two decades. I have no doubt that she will in every way meet the challenges of the new and exciting work she will be doing at the Law School.”