New York State
Unified Court System

Hon. Jonathan Lippman
Chief Administrative Judge

Contact: David Bookstaver,
Communications Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
(212) 428-2500

Release: October 4, 2000

New York's Judicial Institute Is a National First
NEW YORK - At the judiciary's annual budget hearing today, Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman, joined by Dean David S. Cohen of Pace University School of Law, announced that financing is in place and construction set to begin on the Judicial Institute, the first judicial training and research facility in the nation custom-built by and for a state court system. Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye's proposal to create the Institute as a statewide centerpiece for judicial education was approved by both houses of the Legislature and signed into law last year by Governor George E. Pataki. Located on the grounds of Pace Law School, with complete access to its outstanding faculty, students and library, the Institute will benefit from the synergy of this unique partnership between the New York courts and Pace Law School.

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye stated, "The Judicial Institute will serve as a beacon for judicial education nationwide, epitomizing the commitment to innovation and progress for which New York's courts have become known. Its creation reflects our conviction that the judiciary has a responsibility to stay abreast of pressing societal issues, such as domestic violence, drug addiction, juvenile crime and environmental abuses, and actively consider whether the courts are meeting the needs of the public. The establishment of the Institute will raise the bar of excellence for the judiciary, providing a venue for research and development regarding justice issues, as well as serving as a hub for judicial scholarship."

The Judicial Institute will provide a forum for:

  • Identification of new and emerging legal, technological, social, criminal and administrative trends affecting the courts
  • Continuing education through courses, seminars and conferences
  • Advanced study of how interdisciplinary influences, such as technology, medicine, ethics and the social sciences, affect the law and the judicial process
  • Participation in cooperative education programs involving other branches of government, as well as other state and federal judicial systems
"With the establishment of the Judicial Institute, New York will become a magnet for judicial education," said  Judge Lippman. "The Institute will provide a permanent, year-round facility for the court system's judicial education programs, and its affiliation with Pace University School of Law will infuse it with the energy inherent in an environment of higher learning. This project has been a cooperative effort of the court system, the Legislature, the Governor's office and Pace University, and I am delighted to see it coming to fruition."

"Having the Judicial Institute on the Pace Law School campus will strengthen the University's long tradition of providing an education that combines theory and practice," said Pace President David A. Caputo. "We are pleased to have this opportunity for our students and faculty to work with outstanding judges, and we are honored to have been selected by New York State to provide intellectual and practical support to the judiciary on a broad range of legal issues." Dean Cohen added, "The creation of the Judicial Institute at Pace Law School will demonstrate the central role of the academy in legal education at all levels, utilize the expertise of Pace faculty across a broad range of legal topics, and strengthen legal education by providing mentoring for students by lawyers and judges. Furthermore, Pace Law School will establish the Center for Judicial Studies, which will serve as an adjunct to the Institute and provide students with research opportunities. I am pleased that we are able to support the ongoing efforts of Chief Judge Kaye to improve the administration of justice in New York State."

The Judicial Institute will be governed by a Board of Trustees, consisting of judges, legislators, law professors and practicing attorneys. It will be operated by court personnel, and the court system will reimburse Pace for expenses related to maintenance of the physical plant. Construction costs for the three-story facility are estimated at $15 million, which will be provided through the Court Facility Incentive Aid Fund. The State Dormitory Authority has issued bonds to finance the construction, which is scheduled to begin this winter, with the Institute's opening slated for 2002.