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Hofstra Law to Honor Alumnus Jonathan Gradess ’73 at 29th Annual PJF Auction

On March 7, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law will be holding its annual In Honor of Justice Reception and Public Justice Foundation (PJF) Auction to raise funds in support of summer fellowships for students pursuing non-paid internships at government and nonprofit agencies.

This year Hofstra Law is honoring alumnus Jonathan Gradess ’73, who recently retired from his post as the executive director of the New York State Defenders Association after nearly 40 years of leading the NYSDA.

March 7, 2018
Silent Auction | Student Lounge | 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Light Buffet and Drinks | 5:30-7 p.m.
Live Auction | Room 308 | 7-9:30 p.m.

Past live auction items have included tickets to a Yankees game, a taping of Saturday Night Live, VIP tickets to Live with Kelly and Ryan, and various tickets to concerts and Broadway shows.

Information about tickets for the auction will be available soon.

Support summer fellowships for students pursuing non-paid internships in government and nonprofit agencies.

About Jonathan Gradess

Headshot of Hofstra Law alumnus Jonathan Gradess '73, Executive Director of the New York State Defenders AssociationJonathan E. Gradess was the executive director of the New York State Defenders Association from 1978 until June 30, 2017. He has worked as a criminal defense lawyer, a private investigator and a law school professor.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award; Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union 2016 Carol S. Knox Award; National Legal Aid and Defender Association 2016 Reginald Heber Smith Award; New York Nonprofit Media’s Cause Awards, 2016 Overall Sector Support; Capital Punishment Committee of the New York City Bar Association 2016 Norman J. Redlich Award for Capital Defense Distinguished Service; New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 2002 Gideon Award; and New York State Bar Association Criminal Justice Section 1991 award for Outstanding Contribution to the Delivery of Defense Services. The New York State Assembly honored him with a resolution in June 2017.

He serves on the Restorative Justice Commission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and the Board of Directors of Equal Justice USA. He was also the executive director of the New York State Defenders Justice Fund and managed its Campaign for an Independent Public Defense Commission.

His career began as a paralegal, thereafter graduating cum laude in 1973 from Hofstra Law’s charter class.

Before his retirement, he was interviewed by New York Law Journal about his work with the NYSDA.

About the Public Justice Foundation

The Public Justice Foundation is Hofstra Law’s public interest law student organization. The objectives of foundation are twofold: first, to raise awareness about public sector law practice by facilitating student employment in the area and, second, to expose the Law School community to important legal issues through debate and discussion.


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