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2024 Scales of Justice Academy applications open through June 15

2024 Scales of Justice Academy applications open through June 15

Applications for the 15th annual Scales of Justice Academy (SJA) at Fordham University School of Law and The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University have been extended and are open until Saturday, June 15, 2024. The program will begin on Monday, July 22, at both locations. Legal courses will be taught to young women interested in a legal profession by over 40 volunteer judges, lawyers, law professors, law students and elected officials.

Stipends will be given for student transportation to and from the program locations. Lunch will also be provided for all students. Classroom sessions will be held daily Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The New York State Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Rowan D. Wilson will address students and serve as a member of the faculty. 

The program will run on weekdays from July 22, 2024, to July 31, 2024 at Fordham University and July 22, 2024, to July 26, 2024, at Pace University. 

SJA was originally founded in 2009 by the Honorable La Tia W. Martin, currently a justice of the Supreme Court 12th Judicial District in New York, as a no fee pre-college legal education program for promising yet underserved female high school students. 

"The benefit of this unique program is to introduce the participants to the legal profession, as well as to teach life skills and core values," said Justice Martin. "The Justice Academy has already motivated students to go on to college. They now credit the Justice Academy with exposing them to the tremendous opportunities of a legal education and giving them the confidence and inspiration to pursue careers in law."

Lectures will cover the following topics: criminal law, family law, the American jury system, intellectual property law and immigration. 

Students will participate in a mock trial exercise, and a field trip is scheduled to visit a local criminal court in Manhattan to observe ongoing proceedings. Upon the conclusion
of the Scales of Justice Academy sessions, a certificate of completion will be issued when the students present their final assignments.

Over 600 young high school women, some of them from the Mount Vernon City School District, have successfully completed the training and mentorships from the Scales of Justice Academy necessary to further their education. SJA graduates are either enrolled in or have graduated from colleges and law schools throughout the nation, and many SJA  graduates are currently members of the legal profession.

In past years, students in the program have attended field trips to the White House during the Obama Administration, visited the United States Supreme Court and toured Howard University. 

During the 2024 State of the Judiciary hosted by NYS Chief Judge Wilson, held in the Court of Appeals in Albany, a graduate of SJA was honored as the featured speaker. She highlighted her experience in the Academy, as a Fordham Law School graduate and now as a practicing NY attorney.

Find applications and more information at

Click here for the Fordham University SJA Application (July 22-31)

Click here for the Pace University SJA Application (July 22-26)

View pictures from past years below!

Students with Judge Fiore
Students on Capitol steps.
Students standing on Capitol steps.
Students standing at the front of a courtroom.


Picture of Dr. Thomas with maroon on sides.

Dr. Albert “George” Thomas, M.D., M.S., graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1975. He studied medicine at ICAHN School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and became an obstetrician and gynecologist following his education.  

Mr. Jose Formoso

The Mount Vernon City School District named Jose Formoso as its new Assistant Superintendent for Business during the Special Meeting of the Board of Education on Tuesday July 9, 2024. Mr. Formoso brings over a decade of experience in finances to this role, having earned a Bachelor of Science in business economics from SUNY Oneonta in 2003. In 2009, Mr. Formoso received a Master of Business Administration in financial management from Pace University. 

Students holding stuffed animals

The pre-kindergarten students were buzzing with creativity and excitement, showing off their new stuffed friends to staff and classmates. These children were given the chance to assemble their own personalized stuffed animals by hand during yesterday’s summer camp session on Wednesday, July 10, 2024. 

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Greetings MVCSD Community, 

As we conclude this school year, I am filled with immense gratitude and pride for all that we have accomplished together.

I want to commend our hard-working students, faculty, staff, families, and administrators on a wonderful and successful school year. Our teachers, who are the backbone of this District and essential to our children’s education, are role models for our children and exercise courage, passion, patience, and love daily. Our teachers played a pivotal role in the success of the 2023 -24 school year.