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Vintage Clip Reveals Judge Judy Was Just As Tough Before Becoming A Judge

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We all know and love Judge Judy from her long-running TV show, but do you ever wonder how her career began?

A young "Judge Judy."Not Just Rich

It turns out before America knew Judith Sheindlin for her no-nonsense attitude, she was using it for a good cause. Sheindlin grew up in New York City's Brooklyn neighborhood and became a lawyer. She worked in the city's family courts as a prosecutor, handling cases of child abuse, juvenile crime and domestic violence.

Sheindlin was a family court prosecutor before becoming a judge.CBS

Throughout Manhattan's legal community, Sheindlin was known for being tough-as-nails, and described as "shrill" and "testy" by her colleagues. Those qualities earned her a spot as a family court judge, and once she was in charge of her courtroom she became known as the "Evil Queen" of Manhattan Family Court.

Along with Sheindlin's sharp wit and feisty personality - which was the same back then as it is today - she became known as a speedy and talented judge. In the overloaded New York court system, she regularly handled over 20 cases a day, and more than 300 in a month.

Sheindlin presiding over Manhattan Family Court.CBS

Soon, reporters were writing articles about Sheindlin and her unique judicial style, but it was her classic interview with 60 Minutes that made "Judge Judy" a household name.

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