Hofstra Magazine Law

From the Courtroom to the Classroom

Judge A. Gail Prudenti Becomes Hofstra Law Dean

The Honorable A. Gail Prudenti, interim dean of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law and former chief
administrative judge of the courts of New York state, has been appointed dean of the school.

“Judge Prudenti is an exceptional leader, a first-class legal talent and a gifted administrator whose commitment to public service and innovation has already helped expand clinical programs
that provide valuable practical experience for our students and essential support for the community,” said President Stuart Rabinowitz.

Prudenti joined the law school in September 2015 as executive director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law — a position she will retain — and senior associate dean of operations. She became interim dean Jan. 1.

As chief administrative judge of the courts of New York state from 2011 to 2015, Prudenti supervised the administration and operation of the statewide court system with a budget of over
$2.7 billion, 3,600 judges and 15,000 non-judicial employees in more than 350 facilities.

“I am truly honored to serve as Hofstra Law’s next dean, and
I thank President Rabinowitz for this tremendous opportunity,” said Prudenti. “I hope to build on the Law School’s reputation for outstanding faculty, innovative programming and community service as we train future lawyers to become exceptional leaders in their profession.”

In February the law school announced the opening this summer of its newest clinical program — a Deportation Defense Clinic that will represent Long Island immigrants facing deportation and spearhead education and advocacy programs for immigrant rights. In addition, applications to the law school for fall 2017 are up by more than 1,000 compared to the previous year.

Over the past year, Prudenti has been recognized by New York Law Journal with a Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as by Long Island Business News, which inducted her into its Hall of Fame and named her one of its Top 50 Women in Business.

She is currently chair of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children.

Prior to joining Hofstra Law, Prudenti distinguished herself as
a well-respected jurist and hands-on administrator throughout
a judicial career that lasted more than two decades. Before becoming chief administrative judge, she served as the presiding justice of the Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department in New York state, the first woman to hold that position, having been appointed thereto, in February 2002, by then-Gov. George E. Pataki.

Before that, she was the first woman from Suffolk County to serve as an associate justice of the Appellate Division for
the Second Judicial Department. Prior to ascending to the Appellate Division, Prudenti was the administrative judge
for the 10th Judicial District (Suffolk County) for almost three years. At the time of her appointment as a district administrative judge in February 1999, Prudenti was also
the surrogate of Suffolk County and was the first and only surrogate in New York to hold the position of a district administrative judge. Prudenti’s judicial career began in 1991 when she was elected to the New York State
Supreme Court.

She holds a law degree from the University of Aberdeen,
in Scotland, which also awarded her an honorary Doctor
of Laws in 2004 and an honorary appointment as professor in its School of Law. She graduated from Marymount College of Fordham University with honors. Hundreds of Judge Prudenti’s decisions have been published, and she has contributed articles to many publications, such as New York Law Journal, Newsday, The Suffolk Lawyer and The Jurist. She has also published handbooks for guardians ad litem and has written extensively on guardianship proceedings.