Q&A With Alumnus Lenard Leeds ’74, New Chair of Hofstra Alumni Judges of Distinction Executive Committee

Hofstra Law alumnus Lenard Leeds ’74, the founding partner of Leeds Brown Law P.C. and the associate village justice for the Old Westbury Justice Court, was recently named chair of the Hofstra Alumni Judges of Distinction Executive Committee.

The executive committee promotes opportunities in the judiciary for our students and serves as the nominating committee for the alumni judges to be honored for their exemplary service at Hofstra Law’s Distinguished Alumni on the Bench event, a celebration of the Hofstra Law alumni who are serving, or have served, as judges on the local, state and federal levels.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni on the Bench event is being held on Thursday, March 14, from 6-8 p.m. at the Hofstra University Club.

How did your Hofstra Law education help shape your career?
When I attended law school at Hofstra, I loved the Long Island lifestyle and knew this was where I wanted to settle and raise a family. Attending Hofstra Law allowed me to focus on networking locally, make invaluable connections with local judges, and foster these relationships to be successful in private practice. Hofstra Law has a wealth of distinguished alumni, and being an alumnus myself allowed me to focus on developing those local connections. With our focus on connecting Hofstra Law students with these distinguished alumni, the students can truly benefit in their future careers.

You’re a founding partner at Leeds Brown Law P.C., and you are also an associate village justice. Why did you want to join the judiciary?
I have always respected and valued the role of the judiciary. Upholding the law is an important public service that I am incredibly honored to take on as an associate village justice.

As the new chair of the Hofstra Alumni Judges of Distinction Executive Committee, what do you hope to accomplish?
I hope to connect distinguished Hofstra alumni with the Law School so that the students can really benefit by making these connections early on and fostering them throughout their careers. The benefits of networking in the legal industry cannot be overstated.

What trends do you see in your practice area?
With the rise of the #MeToo movement, we’ve definitely seen an increase in gender and pregnancy discrimination claims, as well as sexual harassment claims. Women have been less fearful to come forward, which has been exciting to witness. Companies are now being held accountable for discriminatory actions and are finally taking harassment claims seriously.

What advice do you have for students entering the legal market?
While strong grades can certainly help a student find a job after law school, the connections you develop throughout your career are an essential part of success. Networking is the best way for a student to find a job or learn more about a field they are interested in. Ultimately, networking can be an invaluable source of business. This is why I am honored to chair this committee, because connecting Hofstra Law students to distinguished alumni is an invaluable resource for success in the legal market.

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