Launched in 2000, the Family Court Judge for a Day Program introduces public officials and private sector executives to the New York City Family Courts. the Program is held five times a year in partnership with the Family Court.

How It Works and Why
At Judge for a Day, attendees have the unique opportunity to shadow judges for a morning session and then participate in an interactive luncheon with the Administrative Judge of the City’s Family Courts, the hosting judges, and LIFT staff.  In addition to raising awareness of Family Court conditions, Judge for a Day provides a more finely grained picture of LIFT’s role in the Family Courts, and helps bring resources to Family Court and LIFT.

After the program, LIFT works with participants in an effort to help improve the conditions of Family Court and to bring resources to LIFT. For example, in 2005, an executive from AT&T attended Judge for a Day and was moved by LIFT’s substantial positive effect on court-involved families, and worked with LIFT’s Executive Director to assess how LIFT could use technology to boost its capacity. From there, in light of LIFT’s interest in enhancing our program operations and commitment to being a “green” office, and with the help of this executive, LIFT secured funding from the AT&T Foundation to purchase and configure handheld PC Tablets for use at our Court-based EI Sites. These PC Tablets have vastly improved LIFT’s capacity to collect accurate data and provide quick referrals.

Responses to the Experience

“The ‘Family Court Judge for a Day’ initiative is an excellent resource that provides community leaders with an important view of the current state of New York’s Family Courts. Our Family Courts are in desperate need of attention, and the outstanding work provided by organizations such as LIFT helps to shed light on a critical component of our justice system.”

- Stephen P. Younger, New York State Bar Association President (read full press release and the President's Message in the NYSBA Journal)

If you are interested in participating in Judge for a Day, please email development@LIFTonline.org.

justice for families

"Next to meeting President Clinton, visiting the Family Courts was the most valuable experience we had." - Participant