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From the desk of Dean Boise

February is Black History Month, inspired by Dr. Carter G. Woodson who worked to shine a light on the achievements of Blacks in the United States. As President Ford proclaimed in 1976—when the month was first nationally designated—February is a time for all Americans “to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

During this month, we are embracing the diversity of our community and connecting to our College’s proud history in a unique way, by lifting up our extraordinary Black alumni.

Each weekday this month, look for Black alumni spotlights on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, as well as on our website. Please like and share these posts with pride among your networks and help us to amplify the accomplishments of these alumni to the Orange Nation and beyond. I hope you enjoy the profiles, and if you have a suggestion for an alumnus to feature, please email su-law@law.syr.edu.

Our students are also embracing Black History Month, with a full slate of events during our own Diversity Week (February 8-12), including “A Conversation with D. Riley Christian L’16” and a “A Fireside Chat with Brigitte Echols L’93.” There also will be a special Black Law Students Association (BLSA) virtual ceremony on February 25 honoring the memory and accomplishments of the late Hon. Sandra Townes L’76. And thank you to Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC for sponsoring the February 10 program on “Afro-Latinos in the US and in the Law.”


In case you missed it, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. L’68 mentioned Syracuse during his emotional farewell in Delaware on January 19 before heading to DC for his inauguration. In this syracuse.com article, Professor Emeritus Tom Maroney L’63 recalls teaching President Biden in his legislation class. Professor Maroney also spoke to CNY Central.


College of Law News


I am pleased to announce the addition of Vincent H. Cohen Jr. ’92, L’95—Partner at Dechert LLP, based in Washington, DC—to our Board of Advisors. Vince is widely recognized and honored for his work in high-stakes litigation and investigations, representing global industry leaders in the technology, finance, and defense sectors. Also a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and Office of Multicultural Advancement’s Advisory Council, Vince embodies the talent, leadership, and public service found throughout the College’s diverse alumni community. A list of all current Board of Advisors members can be found here.

College of Law and Queen's University

The teams have been announced for the inaugural Transatlantic Negotiation Competition, to be held virtually March 19 and 20 and co-sponsored by Syracuse Law and Queen’s University, Belfast. Seventeen teams from Europe, Asia, and the US—including our own—will hone skills in cross-cultural negotiation and communication in resolving disputes and facilitating client agreements.


Alumni Engagement

Virtual handshake

During our recent Office of Career Services Mock Interview Program, 40 students practiced interviewing skills and obtained valuable feedback as they prepare to enter a challenging job market. Feedback from students was full of gratitude for the alums who helped out: Rich Levy L’77, Rebeca Sanchez-Roig L’90, Debbie Moore L’91, Sean Palmer L’01, Ted Townsend L’10, Ryan Goodwin L’11, Michelle Billington L’13, Misha Coulson L’13, Brittany Jones L’14, Mark O’Brien L’14, Jonathan Schutrum L’14, Michael Tyszko L’15, and Lauren Blau L’17.

California alumni event

It was wonderful to see California alums from the College of Law and across the University on January 26 for a lively discussion with the Hon. James E. Baker and Maxwell School Professor Jamie Winders on topics in Judge Baker’s new book—The Centaur’s Dilemma: National Security Law for the Coming AI Revolution (Brookings, 2020)—as well as current events.

Adom Cooper

Thank you to David L. Chaplin II L’13 who alerted us to Adom Cooper’s L’12 timely opinion pieces in a variety of news outlets, including the New York Daily News, where Cooper recently wrote about the 14th Amendment in the context of the Capitol Insurrection. One of many alums in public service, Cooper (pictured) is currently an operations planning specialist in the US Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Thank you for your service, Adom. Please look forward to our spring 2021 Stories Book for a special feature on alumni in public service.


Student News

BLSA Constance Baker Team

Congratulations to our excellent BLSA Trial Team, which made it through the regionals of the Constance Baker Motley Mock competition and are headed to the nationals for the second year in a row! John Boyd II L’16 coached 3Ls Ken Knight and Sharon Otasowie and 2Ls Abigail Neuviller and Alexis Eka.

US Capitol

Continuing its strong track record of top experiential learning placements, the spring 2021 DCEx program begins with nine students set to gain practical legal experience across government, nonprofit, judicial, and corporate organizations, including five externs at the US Department of Justice and one working with the Hon. J. Jeremiah Mahoney L’69, Chief Administrative Law Judge, US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Matthew Yanez

1L Matthew Yanez has been chosen as an American Association of People with Disabilities summer intern. Typically, only 12% of 150 applications are selected for this prestigious summer internship each year.

Sehseh Sanan

In this article for the Innovation Law Center, 3L Sehseh Sanan explores the recent arguments surrounding the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the implications that may follow from the decision in Van Buren v. United States.


Faculty & Department News

What's Brewin'

The February edition of the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs’ video blog “What’s Brewin'” features Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic Director Beth Kubala, along with 3L Jordan Broadbent and 2L Scott Deutsch. The team shared how student attorneys are handling cases using virtual platforms for all stages of client support.

Joseph Warburton

New research by Professor A. Joseph Warburton (pictured)—published in the prestigious journal The Business Lawyerexamines the risks that consumers face when they invest with Business Development Companies, despite their reputation for offering high dividend yields. Investment News picked up Professor Warburton’s insights.

Burton Blatt Institute

The Burton Blatt Institute presented “A Crip Reckoning: Reflections on the ADA@30″ on February 2, with a distinguished panel of thought leaders and scholar-activists discussing ableism, cultural change, equity, creativity, and intersectionality in the context of the 30th anniversary of the ADA. Read WAER FM’s coverage of the event.

Dorfman PrEP Discussion

On February 2, Professor Doron Dorfman presented his pathbreaking research into the PrEP Penalty—addressing HIV prevention and blood donation policy—at the University of Utah’s Law and Biomedicine Colloquium.

Scholarship with Impact

As readers of the Dean’s Dispatch know, it is common to see our faculty featured in top news outlets, including—this month—AP, CNN, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. KatieCouric.com and Women’s Wear Daily now join the media platforms seeking our faculty’s expertise, quoting professors Shubha Ghosh and Mark Nevitt (see below).

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Alumni Career Corner


Did you know that in addition to the College of Law’s Office of Career Services, the University has a number of resources to help advance your career or help others do the same? These include …


How You Can Make a Difference


Nominations for 2021 Alumni Awards

During Law Alumni Weekend 2021, Law Honors and Alumni of Color awards will be bestowed on distinguished members of the College of Law family. If you know of deserving candidates for the Law Honors Awards, BLSA William Herbert Johnson Legacy Award, or LALSA Legacy Award, please click on the links to access the nomination forms.


For Your Calendar

Law Alumni Weekend 2021

Save-the-Date for Law Alumni Weekend 2021 and get ready to Reunite, Reminisce, and Recharge Your Orange Spirit!

Our annual celebration returns on September 23-25, with reunions of class years ending in 1 and 6—and other reunions, such as Advocacy, DLPP, and LL.M. alumni—Law Honors Awards, Alumni of Color Awards, the Annual Supreme Court Preview, panel discussions, CLEs, and much more! Help bring your class together as a Class Agent by emailing Director of Alumni Relations Kristen Duggleby.

New York City Alumni CLE Event
“From Model Rules to Role Models: Toward a Common Law of Ethics,” with the Hon. James E. Baker, hosted by Michael Kaplan L’11 and Lowenstein Sandler LLP.
Feb. 11, 2021 | 11 a.m. EST | Register Here

BLSA’s Second Annual Black History Month Ceremony
Honoring the late Judge Sandra L. Townes L’76
February 25 | 5:30 p.m. | Register Here

Disability Law and Policy Program Affinity Group Kick-Off Meeting
February 25 | 7:30 p.m. EST | Via Zoom

Pacific Northwest Alumni Event, with Dean Boise
April 6 | Noon PST | Via Zoom

Save-the-Date: Virtual Scholarship Support Celebration
April 16

Save-the-Date: Alumni of Color Conversation, with Dean Boise
June 24 | Noon EST

For more information and to RSVP for events, email Director of Alumni Relations Kristen Duggleby.


And Finally …


We know our alumni serve their communities in many ways. Recently, Mary Roberts-Bailey L’82 took part in an Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) event discussing black families, genealogy, and archiving home movies, a critical but often rare source for documenting Black American history. As mentioned above, Dr Carter G. Woodson and ASALH inspired Black History Month; this year their theme is the Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.


For More Information


Questions? Please contact Sophie Dagenais, Assistant Dean for Advancement and External Affairs, at sdagenai@law.syr.edu or 315.443.4536, or Kristen Duggleby, Director of Alumni Relations at klduggle@law.syr.edu or 315.443.9532.

Contact us at 315.443.1964 or alumni@law.syr.edu to send us your news. Remember, you can also update your contact information on ’Cuse Community.

I’ll keep you updated on our news in future editions of the Dean’s Dispatch, and for those of you who use social media, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for timely updates and photographs.

You also can connect with me on my own LinkedIn account.

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