MARCH 2021

Dean's Dispatch Header

From the desk of Dean Boise

On February 26 faculty and students gathered for a lunchtime program that shone a light on two great strengths of our law school: the breadth and depth of our faculty scholarship and the powerful tradition of public service among our alumni, and in particular of one Orange alumnus who holds Syracuse close to his heart.

Please enjoy the video of the roundtable “What to Expect from the Biden Administration.” Our experts address urgent legal and policy areas that the new administration is currently tackling or might address in the next four years, including criminal justice reform, climate change, the rule of law, disability rights, international law, privacy, and antitrust law.

Biden Administration Opening Video Slide


Two spring academic events will showcase the strengths of our Advocacy and Disability programs. First, the Transatlantic Negotiation Competition takes place on March 19-21, with colleges from the US, Europe, and Asia—including Syracuse Law—honing their cross-cultural negotiation skills. Then on April 23, join the Syracuse Law Review and the Disability Law and Policy Program for a joint symposium reviewing the Americans With Disabilities Act on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.


College of Law News

Judge Daniels

The second annual Black Law Students Association Black History Month Ceremony took place on February 25, bestowing Black Excellence Awards on undergraduate Mena Sawyer and 3L Sharon Otasowie and honoring the late Judge Sandra Townes L’76 for her contributions to the law, education, and her community. Remembering his “beloved colleague” was keynote speaker the Hon. George Daniels of the US District Court Southern District NY (pictured). Judge Townes’ son, James W. Townes III L’01, and friend Cathy Richardson L’76 also shared heartwarming reflections.

Judge Sandra Townes

That evening, I announced the creation of the Hon. Sandra L. Townes L’76 Diversity and Inclusion Student Resource Center, to be housed in the Susan K. Reardon L’76 room located in the Law Library annex. Named for the pioneering jurist and educator, the Resource Center will be a space for students and faculty to convene and curate resources for sharing, experiencing, and actualizing diversity and inclusion at the College of Law and in our profession. Fittingly, Susan Reardon and Judge Townes were classmates at the College of Law.

New York Bar Foundation Logo

The Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic has received some excellent news from the New York Bar Foundation. The Foundation has awarded the Clinic a grant to fund a staff attorney to assist the critical work of advocating for veterans and their families who are seeking VA benefits or upgrading a military discharge.


Alumni Engagement


Our alumni have been busy this semester! Our new Focus on Careers roundtables are off to a great start, with alumni offering students essential knowledge and intelligence as they prepare for the job market.

One part of the series focuses on “Advice and Insights for Job Searching” in markets outside of New York; the other shines a bright light on “Careers in Corporate Law” and the many disciplines and opportunities in corporate or business law. Thank you, alums, for taking the time to meet with our students; your experience and expertise are priceless!

Philadelphia Law Career Roundtable

Philadelphia Area Regional Roundtable (February 25): David F. Abernethy L’82, Partner, Faegre Drinker; Roxanne L. Houtman L’05, Partner, Potter Anderson & Corroon; and Danielle Morrison L’15, Litigation and Regulatory Associate, DLA Piper (pictured, top).

Corporate Law Society Roundtable

Careers in Corporate Law: Estates and Trusts, Wealth Management, and Financial Planning (February 18): Jeri D’Lugin L’80, Senior Financial Services Representative, Principal Financial Group; Lori Douglass L’87, Founding Partner, Douglass Rademacher; Cressida Dixon L’96, Member, Bond, Schoeneck & King and Public Administrator, Monroe County, NY; and Board of Advisors Member Kamesh Nagarajan L’96, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley (pictured).

Law Boston Career Roundtable

Boston Area Regional Roundtable (February 17): Drew Yanno L’78, Vice President and General Counsel, Bates Communication; Kathleen Turland L’95, General Counsel, Liberty Construction Services (pictured); Brett Carroll L’98, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP; and Sam Davis L’10, Associate General Counsel/VP Legal Affairs, EQRx.

Brigitte Echols Fireside Chat

On February 11, during Diversity Week, the Student Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee held a Fireside Chat with Brigitte Echols L’93, Manager of IP Enforcement, Schlumberger. Echols offered an unfiltered discussion of the law school journey, career development, and workplace challenges. Her mentee—JDinteractive student 2L Sherell Carter, Procure to Pay Specialist at Schlumberger—moderated the chat.

These roundtables help strengthen connections within our Orange network and give our students an edge! If you’d like to get involved, please contact Assistant Dean for Advancement and External Affairs Sophie Dagenais.


Student News


The Corporate Law Society’s annual merchandise fundraiser is up and running. One of the best ways to purchase Syracuse Law gear, this year there are T-shirts, polos, sweatshirts, masks, hats, and embroidered Patagonia jackets for sale. The store is open until March 14.

Hilda Frimpong

A timely highlight of Black History Month was the news that 2L Hilda A. Frimpong was elected by her peers as the next Editor-in-Chief of Syracuse Law Review. When she assumes her duties in 2021-2022, Frimpong will be the first Black student to lead the Law Review since it began publishing in 1949. Addressing her pioneering role, Frimpong says, “In the words of Vice President Harris, ‘While I may be the first, I won’t be the last.'”

National Trial Competition Winners

The College has swept the National Trial Competition Region 2 tournament for the second year in a row. In doing so, we send two teams to the NTC national finals and take home the NYSBA’s Tiffany Cup for the third year in a row. Kudos to 2Ls Marina DeRosa and Amanda Nardozza, who won first place; to runners-up 3Ls Joe Celotto and Christy O’Neil; and to coaches Joanne Van Dyke L’87 and Peter Hakes. Best of Orange luck in the finals!

Tia Thevenin

The latest ‘Cuse Conversation podcast features 1L Tia Thevenin, a remarkable and determined student who had Olympic dreams until COVID-19 postponed the Tokyo games. She turned to her other passion— the law—and in the podcast, she discusses how she wants to make the legal system accessible for all. With students like Thevenin at Syracuse, our future is bright! Read about her journey in Syracuse Stories.

Alyssa-Rae McGinn

Congratulations to Allyssa-Rae McGinn, winner of the 11th Annual Hancock Estabrook 1L Oral Advocacy Competition. I very much enjoyed judging the final round of our excellent student advocates, alongside US District Court for the Northern District of New York judges the Hon. Mae A. D’Agostino L’80, the Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks L’80, and the Hon. Brenda K. Sannes, as well as Timothy P. Murphy L’89, Managing Partner, Hancock Estabrook LLP. Notably, McGinn—VP of Investigations at Dan Schoor LLC—is the first JDi student to win the Hancock competition.


Faculty & Department News

Ai Verification Cover

In his new peer-reviewed report for the Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Institute for Security Policy and Law AI Policy Research Fellow Matthew Mittelsteadt addresses the rapid integration of AI into military systems, raising questions of ethics, design, and safety. Despite calls for “AI arms control,” Mittelsteadt explains that few policy experts have discussed how to verify compliance with controls.

Paula Johnson

Professor Paula Johnson presented a Diversity, Inclusion, and Elimination of Bias CLE webinar in collaboration with Bond, Schoeneck & King on March 5. “Structural Racism and the Law” addressed how racial inequity has been maintained through the criminal justice system and systems such as redlining. Johnson discussed why understanding and working to change such systems are critical to racial equality.

Mary Szto

Professor Mary Szto moderated a roundtable on “Anti-Asian Violence During COVID-19” on March 2. Guest speaker Karen Yau addressed a newly published report on anti-Asian violence by the Asian American Bar Association of New York, and Szto discussed her collaborative restorative justice project to address anti-Asian harassment. The College of Law Asian Americans and the Law Seminar and the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association were co-sponsors.

Scholarship with Impact

As some of the above news conveys, the breadth of our faculty’s scholarship is on full display this month. New media clips include three opinion pieces on diversifying the intelligence community, climate change, and the truth behind the plot of the Netflix movie I Care a Lot. Thank you for sharing our scholarship with your social media networks!

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How You Can Make a Difference


Attention Class of 2020! If you are recently employed and have not yet updated your ABA Employment Form, please do so ASAP. It takes only a few minutes and helps us with ABA reporting. For more information, please contact us. Thank you!

Create a Scholarship in Your Name!

The College of Law has a proud tradition of ensuring that students have the resources needed to fund their legal education. To support students during this unprecedented time, Syracuse University is opening an opportunity for donors to create a current-use scholarship with a $25,000 gift commitment by June 30, 2021.

Your gift will establish a scholarship in your name, and it can be given in $5,000 increments over a period of five years. We hope you will consider this unique opportunity. Your gift will make a difference in the lives of exceptional students from diverse backgrounds. For more information, contact Director of Development Melissa Cassidy.


For Your Calendar


Syracuse Civics Initiative Policing and Reform Panel Discussion
March 31 | Noon ET | More information coming soon

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

Virtual Scholarship Support Celebration
April 16 | Noon – 1 p.m. ET

DC/Capital-Area Alumni Event, with Professor Nina Kohn
May 6 | 4 – 5 p.m ET

Alumni of Color Conversation, with Dean Boise
June 24 | Noon ET

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


For More Information


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

Contact us at 315.443.1964 or 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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