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    04.25.18 Chief Judge Dora L. Irizarry of the Eastern District of New York to Speak at 117th Commencement
    Hon. Dora Irizarry

    Hon. Dora L. Irizarry, the first Hispanic District Judge to serve in the Eastern District of New York and the first Hispanic woman Chief Judge within the Second Circuit, will address graduates at Brooklyn Law School’s 117th commencement at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on May 18.

    Judge Irizarry has been a pioneer for Hispanic women throughout her career. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the South Bronx, she graduated from Yale University and Columbia Law School, where she was a Charles Evans Hughes Fellow. Following law school, she joined the Bronx District Attorney’s Office Appeals Bureau. Assigned to the New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office, Irizarry investigated and prosecuted some of the City’s largest complex narcotics cases. She also served in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force, and as a special prosecutor in the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Her exemplary accomplishments and innovative leadership in the field of complex narcotics investigations garnered her national recognition.

    She was appointed a New York City Criminal Court Judge in 1995 and two years later became the first Hispanic woman appointed to the New York State Court of Claims and the first Hispanic woman to sit in Kings County Supreme Court. Thereafter, she sat in New York County Supreme Court. She briefly left the bench to run for New York State Attorney General in 2002, becoming the first Hispanic woman ever to run for statewide office, and then worked in private practice before her nomination to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2004.

    A dedicated mentor to students and attorneys alike, Judge Irizarry has advocated for programs to foster diversity within the legal profession at all levels, particularly in the federal courts. Since 2005, she has presided over a drug re-entry court providing intensive post-conviction supervision to persons whose crimes were motivated by addiction to make them productive members of society and reduce recidivism.

    United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. recently re-appointed Judge Irizarry to the Federal-State Jurisdiction Committee of the Judicial Conference for a second three-year term. She previously served on the Eastern District’s Criminal Justice Act Panel Committee, where she spearheaded the implementation of a Mentoring Program to increase the diversity of qualified applicants to the Criminal Justice Act Panel.  She is a Fellow of the New York State Bar Foundation and past President of the Association of Hispanic Judges.

    Judge Irizarry has received numerous awards and accolades for her contributions to the administration of justice and enhancement of the legal profession, including the Hon. William C. Conner Inn of Court Excellence Award, the Federal Bar Association’s Pass the Torch Award, and the Federal Bar Council’s Award for Dedicated and Outstanding Service to the U.S. Courts in the Second Circuit (twice), among many others. In 2008, she received the congressionally recognized Ellis Island Medal of Honor, presented annually to a select group of individuals for accomplishments in their field and service to the country.

    As the Law School’s commencement speaker, Judge Irizarry will receive an honorary degree, the highest degree conferred by Brooklyn Law School.

    WHAT: Brooklyn Law School’s 117th Commencement
    WHO: Hon. Dora L. Irizarry, Chief U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of New York, commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient
    WHEN: Friday, May 18, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    WHERE: Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, NY

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