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Monday, January 18, 2021
IN MEMORY OF MARY ELLEN FITZMAURICE NOVEMBER 15, 1948 -JANUARY 11, 2021 THE MOLLOY COLLEGE ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME FIRST INDUCTEE Mary Ellen Fitzmaurice '70, Women's Basketball 1992 Molloy College Recipient of the Veritas Medal In 1990 Sister Mary Ellen Fitzmaurice, a nun who was appointed to a judgeship in city Family Court, had to leave her religious order because of church doctrine. Sister Veronica Greeley of the Dominican Sisters said, "Church law prohibits clergy . . . to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power." Fitzmaurice had been practicing law for 10 years prior to her appointment and was sworn in by Mayor David Dinkins. Mary Ellen Fitzmaurice graduated Our Lady of Mercy Academy (Syosset, NY) in 1966. Judge Fitzmaurice has had a long and distinguished career in law and was the Family court supervising judge in Queens County since 1995 and a Family Court Judge since 1990. The judge brought to the bench both a wealth of judicial experience and a rich variety of experiences as a practicing attorney and teacher. After graduating Molloy College in1970, she attended St. John's University School of Law. Judge Fitzmaurice began her legal career with the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society in 1980. She remained there until 1982, when she joined the staff of the Christic Institute in Washington D.C. to practice public interest law. Thereafter, the judge spent two years in private practice before joining the Office of Legal Affairs of the Human Resources Administration, first as a Staff Attorney and then as an Assistant Supervising Attorney. In late 1988 Judge Fitzmaurice returned to the private practice of law until her appointment to the family court bench in 1990. During this last stint in private practice Judge Fitzmaurice honed her skills and interest in the judiciary as an Administrative Law Judge for the Environmental Control Board. Judge Fitzmaurice has been active in a variety of professional organizations including: the New York State Family Court Judges Association; the Queens Bar Association; the Queens Women's Bar Associations; New York State Bar Association; Association of the Bar of the City of New York; and the National Association of Women Judges. Judge Fitzmaurice began her professional career as a teacher, first at our lady of Sorrows in Manhattan, and later at the Holy Trinity School in Brooklyn. After graduating from law school, she spent one year as a part time instructor of paralegal studies at York College.
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