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February 17, 2009 7:54 AM

Former NYS Chief Judge Judith Kaye Joins Skadden

Posted by Ed Shanahan

Former New York State chief judge Judith S. Kaye, forced to leave the Court of Appeals in December due to mandatory retirement rules, has joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as of counsel, reports the New York Law Journal.

"I have so much to learn about the world of law firms," Kaye, 70, said in an interview last week. "Knowing law and practicing law are two different things. And practicing at big firms is different, too."

Kaye told the NYLJ she is not yet sure exactly what she will do for the firm, and how much time she will devote to issues and causes she champions, such as promoting children's programs and diversity in the legal profession.

Kaye was a commercial law specialist and the first female partner at Olwine, Connelly, Chase, O'Donnell & Weyher when she was nominated by then-Governor Mario Cuomo in 1983 to become the first female member of the Court of Appeals.

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