129th Commencement

New York Attorney General Letitia James to Keynote at NYLS’s 129th Commencement

129th Commencement Exercises

New York, NY (February 25, 2021) – New York Attorney General Letitia James will give the keynote address for the New York Law School (NYLS) 2021 virtual commencement ceremony. She will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from NYLS in recognition of her extraordinary commitment to justice, equity, and public service on behalf of all New Yorkers.

The virtual ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 27, 2021. The audience will include more than 300 J.D. and LL.M. candidates for graduation.

“We’re honored that Attorney General James will address the New York Law School Class of 2021,” said Anthony W. Crowell, NYLS Dean and President. “Over the past year, our graduates have confronted once-in-a-generation challenges. As tomorrow’s leaders and advocates, they will be an essential part of the recovery and renewal of our city, state, and nation. I can think of no one better to inspire them in this work than our brilliant, tough, and barrier-breaking Attorney General.”

Letitia “Tish” James is the 67th Attorney General for the State of New York. She is the first woman of color to hold statewide office in New York and the first woman to be elected Attorney General. Since taking office in January 2019, Attorney General James has led broad coalitions of state attorneys general and other public officials to push back against adverse federal government policies; enforced antitrust laws against some of the world’s largest technology companies, including Google and Facebook; and held accountable one of the nation’s most powerful lobbying groups, the National Rifle Association, for significant self-enrichment. In addition, she led a successful national effort to protect the integrity of the 2020 Decennial Census. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Attorney General James has protected New Yorkers from fraud and predatory practices, helped New Yorkers stay in their homes through foreclosure relief assistance, and established a program to provide free legal assistance for tenants facing eviction throughout the entire state.

From 2013 to 2018, Attorney General James served as Public Advocate for the City of New York. She was the first woman of color to hold citywide office in New York City. Her office handled over 32,000 constituent complaints and passed more legislation than all previous Public Advocates combined, including a groundbreaking law that banned questions about salary history from the employment process to address the pervasive gender wage gap. She successfully took on the gun industry by pushing New York City’s largest pension fund to divest from gun and ammunition retailers. She fought in court on behalf of children and families on issues including children in foster care, children with disabilities, and tenant protection.

Prior to serving as Public Advocate, she represented the 35th Council District in Brooklyn in the New York City Council for 10 years. Before her election to the City Council, she served as head of the Brooklyn Regional Office of the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General James began her career as a public defender at The Legal Aid Society. A proud Brooklynite, she is a graduate of Lehman College and Howard University School of Law.