Judge Judy Funds Scholarships for 10 Female Law Students at Her Alma Mater

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)

Recently, “Judge Judy” Sheindlin donated $5 million to her alma mater for scholarships that will be awarded to 10 female students in law school. According to a press release from New York Law School, the scholarship will fund full tuition and book expenses for all 10 students. Additionally, the celebrity judge will offer a summer fellowship to each student following the completion of their first year in law school.

Sheindlin created the scholarship 57 years after graduating from NYLS in 1965. Further, her daughter and granddaughter have attended NYLS as well. Judge Judy’s daughter, Nicole Sheindlin, graduated from the university in 1993. Her granddaughter, Sarah Rose, is expected to receive her degree from the law school this spring. Rose also stars beside her grandmother in her new series, Judy Justice.

“New York Law School has evolved into a welcoming and nurturing institution since I graduated in 1965,” Sheindlin said in NYLS’s statement. “It is a joy for me to be able to support talented women in their pursuit of a career in the law. Independent and focused women not only enrich the profession, but the world.”

NYLS Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell also shared thoughts about Judge Judy in the school’s statement. He touched on Sheindlin’s law school legacy and called her an “extraordinary role model and champion” for women. Crowell also said he looked forward to working with Judge Judy, Nicole, and Sarah in the near future.

“Judge Judy Sheindlin is one of the most prominent graduates in our school’s history,” Crowell shared in the statement. “Her gift is a profound commitment to women aspiring to attend law school. And [the scholarships] will ensure they have the opportunity to gain a first-class education and become leaders throughout the profession.”

Judge Judy’s NYLS Scholarships Made Possible By Years of Hard Work

After 25 years as the star of her own NBC series, Judge Judy came to an end last summer. She’s now back on IMDb TV with a similar series called Judy Justice, which is owned by Amazon Studios.

However, in the years before her $460 million fortune because of her fame on TV, she wasn’t in a position to give to others. She especially couldn’t have donated $5 million for scholarships like she recently gifted 10 female law students. In November, Sheindlin spoke to PEOPLE about her new show and life before becoming a celebrity.

“The majority of my life, I spent buying on the sale rack,” Judge Judy explained to PEOPLE. “I didn’t bother going into [Neiman Marcus], [Bergdorf Goodman] and Saks [Fifth Avenue] because I couldn’t afford it.”

Sheindlin began her career as a lawyer in New York. Early on, she primarily focused on child abuse and domestic violence cases. In 1982, she became a judge. A decade later, she received a television offer after she got noticed in a 60 Minutes segment. Yet she never expected a 25-year run on TV with Judge Judy.

“I was hoping we would have a three or four-year run. And that my husband and I would be able to afford a two-bedroom apartment one block off the beach in Florida as a retirement place. We’re civil servants. We had five kids that were all educated, most went to graduate school. We tried to see to it they weren’t burdened with a lot of debt,” Sheindlin said to the outlet.