Each month, Touro Law Center’s Alumni and Development Office recognizes one outstanding
alum for his or her contribution to the legal field, service to the law school,
or other outstanding achievement. If you would like to nominate a fellow alum, please
contact Jackie Doudu-Burbridge, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations at 631.761.7063
or via e-mail.
Suffolk County District Court
John Andrew Kay was born in Queens, NY in 1944. He graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School in 1961 40 years before he received his college degrees. He attended St. John’s University for one year after which he became an employee of UPS, as a clerk, a package truck driver and finally as a driver supervisor.
John Andrew Kay entered the insurance business in 1967 and ran a successful business for 30 years before entering the legal profession. During this time he became married and he was blessed with three daughters, Christi Daria, Erin Michael and Shannon Patricia as well as serving for 9 years in the US Coast Guard Reserve and was awarded an Honorable Discharge in 1985. From 1996 to 2010 he served as a Legislative Aide in the NYS Senate.
In the midst of a protracted matrimonial matter John Andrew Kay returned to college at age 52 in pursuit of his associates and bachelor degrees which were left behind decades earlier, which degrees were conferred upon him in June 2001 at age 57. Two months later on August 12, 2001 John Andrew Kay entered Touro Law Center in Huntington, NY and began his legal career. Uncertain of how he would fair in law school at his age John Andrew considered dropping out but the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 convinced him that he was called to finish his law school journey. While in Touro John Andrew Kay served both as President of the Christian Legal Society and as an active member of the Black Law Students Association.
John Andrew Kay graduated from Touro Law Center at age 60 in January 2005 and was admitted to practice law in NYS in June 2005. At graduation John Andrew Kay was awarded the Touro Michael Aaron Silver Award “For Promoting Tolerance & Harmony Among the Diverse Elements of the Law Center and Its Community” as well as the Touro award for “Best Paper Written By A Graduating Student” for his dissertation on the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
On November 9, 2014, Judge Kay was honored with other fellow Touro alumni who are members of the judiciary with the installation of the Touro Law Center Alumni Wall of Honor portrait exhibit.
Prior to his run for the District Court Judge Kay was a private practitioner and served as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society in the months immediately preceding his taking the bench.
In October 2010 John Andrew Kay, Esq. was substituted by the Democrat, Republican, Conservative and Independence Parties for Judge W. Gerard Asher who vacated the four party endorsements for Suffolk County District Court Judge to run for NYS Supreme Court. Attorney/ Candidate John Andrew Kay was screened and found qualified for the Suffolk County District Court by the Suffolk County Bar Association Judicial Screening Committee in October 2010, was elected in November 2010 and took the bench on January 1, 2011.
In his time on the bench Judge Kay has presided over thousands of cases and numerous jury and bench trials while gaining a reputation for his work ethic, in depth review of every case that comes before him, his down to earth and respectful approach to solving problems and his deep faith in the God who brought him through areas of growth during personal challenges.
Judge Kay is known for his respect for the bar and all those who appear before him as well as his constant reminder to defendants who plead that they do not have to be defined by what they have pled guilty to but rather they can be defined by what they do going forward as they have an opportunity to help others by the experiences that they have gone through.
Judge Kay has been a member of Amistad since his admission to the bar and in 2011 when Judge Kay was sworn in he thanked 157 people in his speech and ended by saying, “And when we consider the facts that 10 years ago I did not have a college degree and that I was sworn in to practice law 2025 days ago today it should be abundantly clear to even the most casual observer that God and God alone has done all that it may appear that I have accomplished…”
He has grandsons: Christian James 10, Connor Andrew 9, ( last name Weber), Mallack John-Eugene 17 months and Aengus Michael-Kay 1 month (last name Walsh).