This week’s unveiling of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s portrait in the Court of Appeals brings us close to one year ago when we, and the entire New York legal community, learned of her shocking and tragic passing. It is a reminder of how fragile life can be and a reminder for us to live the fullest each day. It is timely and appropriate for our legal community to remember and celebrate her life. I’m going to refer to her honor as Sheila here because I want to talk about the person behind the judicial title. She was without question a stellar judge, but first and foremost, she was a stellar person.

We can start by acknowledging that Sheila had a storied career, but it did not come easy. The laurels which she so richly deserved were hard-earned after many challenges and difficulties.

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