Seeking Purpose: Supreme Court Justice Sharon M.J. Gianelli
Tuesday April 12, students came together to have lunch and meet Supreme Court Justice Sharon M.J. Gianelli, who was elected to a fourteen-year term on the New York State Supreme Court in November 2014. As an alumnus of Syracuse University’s School of Social Work and Brooklyn Law School, Justice Gianelli has planted her roots within the justice system, specifically with the Adolescent Diversion Program for Nassau County. This was especially near to her heart because this was one of only nine pilot projects in the state that combined social work and the law when handling adolescent misdemeanor and felony cases.
Justice Gianelli served as majority counsel to the Nassau County Legislature from 2000-2005, and was elected to two terms as a District Court Judge from Nassau County. She is also currently serving on the New York State Judiciary Advisory Council, New York State Bar Association, Nassau County Bar Association, Nassau County Women’s Bar Association, and the Criminal Courts Bar Association.
The luncheon was very inspiring as Justice Gianelli spoke about her experiences and how she carved her path through the justice system. One important lesson I learned was that you cannot live in retrospect. It is just as important to live in the present, as it is to focus on the future. I’ve also learned that you must keep an open mind and choose to do what is right rather than just doing what everyone else wants. Justice Gianelli is truly an amazing woman and her achievements are simply admirable. Parents, I urge you to encourage your students to follow a path that they love. Once they begin to follow their passions, it will feel like that was their true calling. Students lucky enough to meet the Honorable Sharon M.J. Gianelli are truly thankful and will always remember this experience.
-Gabriella Novello, Class of 2018