Scholarship Established in Memory of Judge Leon LazerMay 23, 2018
Dean Harry Ballan is pleased to announce that the Judge Leon D. Lazer Memorial Scholarship has been endowed in the amount of $40,000 by the Lazer family. The scholarship will be awarded to a 2L student beginning in Fall 2018.
“Judge Lazer was a beloved and irreplaceable part of the Touro Law family,” said Dean Harry Ballan. “He was a deeply respected professor and academic colleague in addition to his excellence as a practicing as lawyer and jurist. Establishing this scholarship is a wonderful tribute to his legacy.”
Judge Lazer joined the faculty at Touro Law in 1989. Each year, Touro holds the Leon D. Lazer Supreme Court Review CLE program in his honor. The popular program, which has been held for the past 29 years and will continue in his memory, brings together lawyers and judges to review the Supreme Court term from the previous year. Additionally, Touro’s atrium was named in honor of Judge Lazer in 2008 to recognize his dedication to the school.
Leon D. Lazer was a former Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department. A veteran of World War II, Judge Lazer served in campaigns ranging from Normandy to the Bulge and the Battle of Germany during three and one-half years in the U.S. Army. Following his graduation from the City College of New York and his military service he attended New York University Law School and was admitted to the bar of the State of New York in 1948.
Judge Lazer had a lengthy career as an attorney before being elected to the Supreme Court in 1972. During the 25 years of law practice proceeding his election, he practiced as associate and partner in a number of New York City law firms, and as a single practitioner and public servant in Suffolk County. He was town attorney for the Town of Huntington, where he compiled an impressive record of victories. He also served as co-chair of the Suffolk County Reapportionment Committee, where his “Lazer Plan” for a 16 member county legislative body ultimately achieved reality. Judge Lazer also served as a member of the Suffolk County Charter Revision Commission.
After his election in 1972, Judge Lazer served as a Justice of the State Supreme Court for six years and, following his appointment to the Appellate Division, he served that Court for eight years. He was the Senior Justice when he left the Court in 1987. During his judicial service, Judge Lazer was the author of 146 published opinions, some of which have been cited hundreds of times. People v. Suitte, dealing with sentencing, has been cited over 5000 times. Nicastro v. Park, dealing with the degree of deference to be given to trial judges by appellate courts has been cited over 3000 times. Some of Judge Lazer’s decisions remain as prevailing law in the State.
One of Judge Lazer’s greatest accomplishments was his stewardship of the Pattern Jury Instructions Committee of the Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The Committee, consisting of 15 leading judges in the State, produces a four volume set of model jury charges for use by judges who conduct civil trials. It is provided to trial judges by the Office of Court Administration. Judge Lazer has been the chair of the Committee for 30 years. After he left the bench, while a partner in the firm of Shea & Gould, Judge Lazer played a principal role in forming the Office of the Appellate Defender, now considered one of the premier appellate defense organizations for indigent criminal defendants. He served as the original chair of the organization for three years and as a member of its board for subsequent years. Judge Lazer also served as a member of the Temporary State Commission on Tax Relief for Long Island.
Touro Law offers scholarships and fellowships to both incoming and current students. Touro Law has added more than 55 new named scholarship for students in the past six years with more than $2 million raised for scholarship support that directly benefits students.
Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with programming developed to integrate the courtroom into the classroom, provide a one-of-a kind learning experience for law students, combining a rigorous curriculum taught by expert faculty with a practical courtroom experience. Touro Law is dedicated to providing hands-on learning that enables students to gain experience while offering much-needed legal services in the community.
Touro Law, which has an alumni base of more than 6,000, offers full- and part-time J.D. programs where students can earn a degree in 2, 3 or 4 years and provides four areas of concentration Additionally, Touro offers a hybrid, four-year FlexTime Program combining online and on campus learning. Touro Law offers several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates, including a new online LL.M. in Aging & Longevity Law. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.
About the Touro College and University System
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has 30 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: http://www.touro.edu/news/.
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