Springs Legal: Kids in Court

T.E. McMorrow

Four 13-year-old students at Springs School were given a tour of East Hampton Town Justice Court last Thursday, led by Gordon Ryan, an attorney with an office in Montauk. Laura Calderon said she wanted to be a lawyer, and Aidan McCormac, a judge. Christian Campoverde and Jaye deGroof said they were more inclined toward the sciences, but were curious to see how the legal system works.

It was all part of the Springs School Shadow Day, which gives young people the chance to step into the workplace and satisfy their curiosity about different professions. The kids who chose to go to justice court were given a full tour of the facility, including the holding cell for prisoners, which was of particular interest. 

They sat through all the proceedings on the day’s court calendar, which, on Thursdays, is only criminal cases. They were each given a copy of the calendar so they could follow along.

As each defendant’s name was called, Mr. Ryan would explain the charges. “The students get a taste of what the police, lawyers, and judges go through,” said Mr. Ryan, who has been leading students from Springs on Shadow Day for six or seven years.

After the cases on the docket were completed, Justice Steven Tekulsky, who was on the bench last Thursday, spoke with the students and answered their questions. So, too, did Rudy Migliore Jr. and Doug Fedun of the district attorney’s office, Gloria Rosante, court reporter, Sandra Ramos Connor, court translator, and the court officers. 

“It leads to creating great respect for the system and great respect for the people in it,” Mr. Ryan said. And, who knows, maybe a future Supreme Court justice or two.