New York, NY (March 29, 2023) – The Honorable Kathy Hochul, 57th Governor of the State of New York, will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary degree at New York Law School’s 131st Commencement Ceremony.
The event will be held at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, May 25, 2023, with 299 total J.D. and LL.M. candidates graduating this year. Nearly 60% of this year’s graduates are women, a quarter are first-generation college graduates, and well over half the class is from New York.
“We are honored that Governor Kathy Hochul will join ‘New York’s’ law school and speak to our graduates,“ said Anthony W. Crowell, Dean and President. “The Governor made history as our first elected female governor, and as a trained lawyer she has much inspiration and wisdom to share with both our graduating class, and our entire student body which is 62% women. Our graduates are compelling leaders who have helped build New York for over 130 years, with many entering public service, and the private and non-profit sectors, to expand justice and build opportunity in our State. This will be a vital moment for our graduates to benefit from the Governor’s unique perspective leading New York during a transformational time for our state and nation.”
Kathy Hochul is the 57th and first female Governor of New York State. She began her career in public service on her local Town Board, before serving as Erie County Clerk, and then as a member of Congress for New York’s 26th Congressional District.
As Lieutenant Governor from 2015 to 2021, she successfully spearheaded numerous initiatives and lead the administration’s economic development and job creation efforts across the state. She chaired the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils, and served as co-chair of the State’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, Women’s Suffrage Commission, Child Care Availability Task Force. She also helped New York State manage the COVID-19 pandemic response, while focusing on a recovery that builds back better and more inclusive.
Since being sworn into office in 2021, Governor Hochul has proposed a bold vision for New York’s future. In her first State of the State address, she declared that this was a new era for New York, and laid out a comprehensive list of policy proposals and initiatives that will help New Yorkers and their families now, while ensuring the State’s economic recovery is swift and vast. Governor Hochul worked with the legislature to pass a budget that included historic-level of investments in the people, places, and things that will make that happen – from healthcare workers and middle-class families to infrastructure, education, and workforce development – while funding the State’s reserves to historic levels as well. And in the wake of the Supreme Court’s reckless decisions to strip away abortion rights and strike down gun regulations, Governor Hochul led the charge in Albany to successfully pass new legislation protecting reproductive health, strengthening New York’s gun safety laws and beginning the charge to add an Equal Rights Amendment to the New York State Constitution.
Governor Hochul was born and raised in Western New York. She and her husband, Bill Hochul, are the proud parents of two children and recently became grandparents for the first time.
New York Law School continues to expand opportunities for legal education in New York. This past fall, the law school launched its redesigned Evening Division, “NYLS Pro.” The school has always been a beacon of opportunity for full-time professionals, especially public servants such as uniformed personnel, and new innovations make it more accessible, flexible, and affordable to meet the needs of 21st century professionals.
In recent years, NYLS commencement speakers have included TV Icon Judge Judge Sheindlin ’65, then-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, New York Attorney General Letitia James, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, the Emmy Award-winning co-creator of “Making a Murderer” Laura Ricciardi ’96, then-New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), and the late Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Robert A. Katzmann.