March 01, 2017

From the Bench: Diversity in the Law

Hon. Joseph A. Greenaway Jr.

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The following is the welcome address given by Judge Greenaway Jr. to first-year law students at Cardozo Law School on August 24, 2016.

Thank you for that kind introduction. I always listen to my bio with both wonderment and embarrassment. First, the wonderment: what professional good fortune I have had with so many exciting opportunities and great experiences. And second, I always wish that the introduction was shorter. I am quite certain you would rather hear what I have to say than hear my biography.

I am so happy to be here speaking to the class of 2019 as you embark on the journey of a lifetime. Whether you realize it or not, you will be learning a new language and rules, rules, and more rules. And then having learned the rules you will learn that there are myriad exceptions to all the rules you have just mastered. Intellectually, it will be overwhelming at times—for me, it was the entire first year—but hopefully it will, at least some of the time, be fun.

To each of you, I extend a hearty welcome and congratulations; there are so many who would love to be sitting in your seat. When Dean Leslie asked me to speak to your class, I was flattered. It is both a serious obligation and an honor to stand before you. Admittedly, I stand before you with some trepidation. The open-endedness of the assignment—“Judge, anything you want to say about diversity and inclusion”—is daunting.


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