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New York’s Chief Judge Janet DiFiore to Deliver Hofstra Law’s 2018 Commencement Address

Photo of members of the Hofstra Law Class of 2017 at the Commencement Ceremony on May 22

The Honorable Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the State of New York, will deliver the commencement address and be awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws at Hofstra Law’s commencement ceremony on Monday, May 21, at 7 p.m. at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex, North Campus, Hofstra University.

“Having enjoyed the privilege of serving in the court system with Chief Judge DiFiore, I have the highest regard and utmost respect for her as an outstanding prosecutor and jurist who is deeply committed to fairness and justice,” said Judge Gail Prudenti, dean of Hofstra Law. “We are honored to have Chief Judge DiFiore, a true inspiration, as our commencement speaker, and I am grateful that our students will have the opportunity to hear from her.”

Chief Judge DiFiore was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Dec. 1, 2015. She was confirmed by the New York State Senate on Jan. 21, 2016, and took office the same day.

Chief Judge DiFiore has devoted virtually her entire professional career to the fair administration of justice, including service as a prosecutor and as a judge. Chief Judge DiFiore served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office from 1981-1987, and from 1994-1998 as Chief of the Office’s Narcotics Bureau. From 1987-1993, Chief Judge DiFiore practiced law with the firm of Goodrich & Bendish. In 1998, she was elected a Judge of the Westchester County Court, presiding over criminal and civil matters and sitting by designation in the Family Court, Surrogate’s Court and Supreme Court. She served as a County Court Judge until 2002, when she was elected a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court.

As a Supreme Court Justice, she served as Supervising Judge of the Criminal Courts of the 9th Judicial District. In 2005, Chief Judge DiFiore resigned from the bench and was elected Westchester County District Attorney. She served in this position from 2006-2016.

Chief Judge DiFiore received her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1981 and her B.A. from C.W. Post College, Long Island University, in 1977. She lives in Bronxville, New York, with her husband, Dennis E. Glazer. They have three grown children and two grandchildren.

Below is more information about graduation:

Graduates’ Celebration and Awards Ceremony

Before Commencement, the Class of 2018 Graduates’ Celebration and Awards Ceremony will take place promptly at 3 p.m. in the John Cranford Adams Playhouse (located near the Law School).

The program begins with an introduction and welcome by Judge Gail Prudenti, dean, followed by speeches by Student Bar Association President Justin DiCicco, elected 3L Speaker Matthew Rosen and elected Teacher of the Year Professor James Sample.

The ceremony continues with the presentation of various awards that recognize student accomplishments throughout law school. The students receiving awards will be notified via email on Friday, May 18.

The program will last approximately one hour. Immediately following the celebration, a light reception will be served at the Law School, to which students’ family and friends are welcome.

Tickets are not necessary for this event. Please note that students do not wear academic attire to this ceremony.

Commencement Ceremony

The Commencement Ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. in the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex (the arena located on the North Campus). The ceremony will last approximately two hours.

The Honorable Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the State of New York, will deliver the opening remarks. At the Commencement Ceremony, the president of the University, Stuart Rabinowitz, will confer the degrees, and students will walk across the stage to be announced by name, hooded and congratulated by Judge Gail Prudenti, dean.

Tickets are not necessary for this event.

Academic Attire Pickup

Academic attire pickup is Wednesday and Thursday, May 16 and May 17, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Friday, May 18, from 10 a.m-3 p.m., on the lower level of the Bookstore in the Sondra and David S. Mack Student Center. Students are asked to please present their Hofstra ID card.

There is no fee for the cap and gown, and they will be students’ to keep after the ceremony.

Robing and Assembly

Instructions regarding robing and assembly will be given to students when they pick up their academic attire.

On the day of Commencement, students should line up in the Physical Education Center at 6 p.m. The Physical Education Center is located on the North Campus next to the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. Family and friends are free to enter the arena and sit as they wait for the ceremony to begin.

As students enter the Physical Education Center, please stop by the table near the entrance to pick up a yellow index card. This card will have their name on it, as it is to be read when they walk across the stage. Please read the name carefully and make any necessary changes, and add a phonetic spelling of the name if needed.

Once the processional lines are formed, students will walk into the arena, and the ceremony will begin. Please note that students do not put their hood on before the ceremony; they will be hooded on the stage.