“Touro Was Always There for Me”
First Female Hasidic Judge Credits Touro
The first female Hasidic judge in the state of New York is a proud graduate of Lander College of Arts and Sciences.
The Honorable Ruchie Freier credits LAS with helping her fulfill her dream of becoming a a lawyer. “Touro was always there for me,” Freier explained. “They gave me the ability to transition from the Bais Yaakov high school graduate into the college student and then transition on to higher education, which was, in my case, law school.”
Freier began her law career as a legal secretary to support her husband while he learned in Kollel. After her husband graduated from Touro, Freier decided it was her turn to achieve a college degree. She completed her bachelor’s at LAS in 2001 and then began studying for her law degree at Brooklyn Law School.
A lifelong advocate, while Freier built her law practice and raised six children, she launched the first all-female EMT group, Ezras Nashim, and built a program to help at-risk children in the Jewish community. She is also a licensed paramedic and a pro-bono lawyer for New York Family Court. In September, she ran for a vacant civil court seat in Boro Park’s 5th District. She won the Democratic primary with 41 percent of the vote.
“The part of the community I would like to speak for is the segment that has no voice,” Freier explained. “If someone wants help, I want to be there to help them. Whether it was the children who were rejected from the school system or the women who wanted to serve others in pre-hospital emergency care... When you can have an impact on society, that’s what makes life worth living.”
While compromise is a tenet for most lawyers, there is one issue that Freier refuses to compromise on.
“You can be devoutly religious and conform to all the Torah standards and still be successful in the secular world,” she said. “Without compromising our standards and our values, Orthodox women can succeed.”