January 30, 1992
Digest: A judge may accept employment as an adjunct law professor at a private university and may receive standard compensation and benefits for teaching a regular course.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §§100.4(a); 100.6(a) and (d).
A full-time judge asks whether the judge may serve as an adjunct law professor, teaching regular evening courses, at a private university which is not supported in any manner by public funds. In addition to the judge's receiving compensation for services rendered, the judge's children would be eligible to receive partial tuition reimbursement. All benefits received by the judge would be identical to those received by other nonjudicial members of the law school faculty at the university.
Section 100.4 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides as follows:
A judge, subject to the proper performance of his or her judicial duties, may engage in the following quasi-judicial activities, if in doing so the judge does not cause doubt on the capacity to decide impartially any issue that may come before him or her:
(a) A judge may speak, write, lecture, teach and participate in other activities concerning the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice.
In Opinions 91-75 (Vol. VII), 90-204 (Vol. VII) and 90-128 (Vol. VI), this Committee found that a judge may receive reasonable compensation for such extra-judicial activities provided that the compensation received by the judge does not exceed what a person, who is not a judge, would receive for the same activity [22 NYCRR 100.6(a)].
Further, section 100.6(d)(2) of the Rules states that a judge may not receive compensation from:
a school, college, or university that is financially supported, in whole or in part, by New York State or any of its political subdivisions, or any officially recognized body of students thereof, except that a judge may receive the ordinary compensation for teaching a regular course of study at any college or university if the teaching does not conflict with the proper performance of judicial duties.
Since the university is in no manner funded by public monies, and since the judge will be teaching a regular course of study, such activity is not prohibited.
The judge's children may receive partial tuition reimbursement, if that benefit is identical to benefits received by any other faculty member. If the children of all adjunct faculty members are entitled to partial tuition reimbursement, such benefit would not create an appearance of impropriety and may be considered reasonable compensation for services rendered. Thus, the judge may teach at the law school, and may receive the ordinary compensation and benefits.