By Jessica Easthope
When Judge Vincent Del Giudice steps onto the bench, he can be pretty tough.
But his stern public persona is nowhere to be found when he talks about something close to his heart: his alma mater, Xaverian High School in Downtown Brooklyn.
“My family made it important for me to have a Catholic education, and instilled in me the value of education, and so did the Xaverian brothers and for what you take, you have to give back,” he explained.
For the acting Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice, giving back looks like this: every year he invites a group of seniors from Xaverian to get an inside look at what it’s like to do his job.
This year, students who are in a law class toured his chambers and watched him make rulings on some of the many murder cases he presides over. It’s all part of a Catholic education that takes them far beyond the walls of a classroom.
“It’s great to see all the Xaverian stuff especially behind me,” said senior Edward Conti from the courthouse. “Once you leave, you’re always paying homage to it.”
Although these students got a full rundown of the judicial system what they found most valuable is something you can’t learn in a courtroom or a classroom.
“We do a lot of things based on community service and what’s right and wrong in terms of the religious aspect,” explained senior Nicole Montana, “so I feel like this ties into that well.”
“It’s more of a moral thing,” Edward observed of Judge Del Giudice’s duties. “It’s not just this, and that he’s more of a person inside and has to look through the case himself.”
It’s Xaverian High School that Judge Del Giudice credits for his balanced scales of justice.
“As a Catholic you use your moral compass in deciding issues, and that’s what I try to instill in these students,” he said.