The former family court judge has been appointed City Tech’s first full-time distinguished lecturer.
Schechter credits a love of people with her career success.
“I’m a people person and love interacting with them,” she says. “As a judge, I had to get into people’s lives and become part of their lives. And they, in turn, became part of my life. It’s really the same way with my students at City Tech. I learn at least as much from them as they learn from me.”
Schechter says both serving the courts and teaching in Brooklyn are special to her because of the ties she feels with the borough.
“I feel like Brooklyn is the real New York and have always loved its diversity, especially the newly arrived immigrants who came here to make their way in the world,” she said.
Besides serving on the bench, Schechter played a pivotal role in the systemic reform of Family Court as the presiding judge of Model Court, a federally funded State Court Improvement Project, and as chairperson of the Family Court Advisory and Rules Committee.
She is also proud of her work establishing legislation to protect children in state care from abuse.
As a child growing up in Central Florida, she was in foster care for a year-and-a-half before she was adopted. In that 18-month period, she was moved several times. Her experience demonstrated to her how important it is to quickly yet sensitively ensure that a child is permanently placed and how crucial a child’s extended family can be.
Her childhood experience colors what she sees as her greatest achievements as a judge.
“Everyone’s case is important and every human life that I had anything to do with mattered to me,” she says.