Earlier this summer, the Virginia General Assembly appointed Dipti Pidikiti-Smith ’06 and Todd Zinicola ’04 to serve as judges on the Fairfax County General District Court. Judge Zinicola’s investiture is set for Sept. 30, and Judge Pidikiti-Smith’s will be Dec. 9. Both are taking place at the Fairfax County Courthouse.
The Advocate checked in with the newly appointed judges to talk about how attending UDC Law helped prepare them for the bench. “I was a non-traditional law school applicant,” Pidikiti-Smith said, “UDC Law considered my background, education and passion to serve and gave me an opportunity to succeed.” From offering a part-time evening program to being a top choice for older students or those seeking a second career, UDC Law is committed to increasing representation at the bar, including students from non-traditional backgrounds like Pidikiti-Smith.
UDC Law also provides more than 45,000 hours of service to the D.C. community each year as part of its dedication to public interest law, including within the number-five ranked Clinical Program. Zinicola emphasized the connection between what he learned at UDC Law and the path his career has taken. “My entire legal career has had a strong focus on public interest and pro bono work,” he said. “My experience at UDC Law helped shape who I have become as a person, a lawyer and now a judge.”
Zinicola added, “Dipti and I are excited to be starting on the same bench in the same year as well as being proud UDC Law grads!”