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Hon. Craig Dorandoran-headshot-4_2_19

7th Judicial District Administrative Judge and New York State Supreme Court Justice

NYS Unified Court System

Years in current role: 10

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Each day, I treasure the opportunity to collaborate with our talented community partners and with the dedicated judges and staff of the 7th Judicial District. Working in partnership with these caring and knowledgeable professionals is the most rewarding part of my job. Knowing that lives are improved by the ground-breaking initiatives we participate in is also very exciting. Increasing access to justice and enhancing the responsiveness of our courts to the needs of the public are critical components of a thriving community. Contributing to those successes is inspiring and makes coming to work each day meaningful and exhilarating.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

The significant and immediate impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the daily operation of our courts has been a challenge for all who work in the legal profession. Making swift and efficient operational changes, like transitioning to virtual courtrooms, to ensure access to justice in uncertain times is one way the courts successfully met this challenge head on.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the legal industry in the next 3-5 years?

The legal system will take lessons learned and efficiencies realized from the COVID-19 pandemic and apply them to the current court structure in an effort to enhance access to justice for all. Outside of the pandemic, there is a place in our courts for the continuation of virtual technology and virtual appearances in certain situations.

What advice would you give law students who are graduating this year?

Focus on creating and cultivating positive relationships. Work toward finding a niche within the legal profession you are passionate about and that you find intrinsically rewarding. Take stock in the kind of clients you enjoy serving and what gives you meaning at the end of each day. Choosing a niche based on those factors will help graduates build careers that will best serve others while providing personal reward and fulfillment.

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