MARCH 2020


From the desk of Dean Boise

The College iS committed to staying in touch with our alumni family during the COVID-19 health crisis. The next few months will be challenging, but I know our students, faculty, and staff will meet the challenge head-on. Stay tuned for more updates from the Dean’s Dispatch in coming weeks.

The situation with the COVID-19 health crisis continues to unfold quickly. The University and the College of Law will not resume residential instruction this spring semester. All classes will be provided online.

My priority is the health, welfare, and academic success of our students, especially our graduating students. I have assembled a leadership team to closely monitor this unusual and dynamic situation and to coordinate our rapid response, including the creation of Law Preparedness, a robust COVID-19 resource page for our students, as well as faculty, staff, alumni, and friends.

Law Preparedness offers up-to-date information on changes in campus operations, academic continuity resources, tips about staying healthy, travel guidance, and more. I echo the words of Chancellor Syverud: “Syracuse University will continue to do all it can—operationally, academically, and morally—to support our students, faculty, and staff while also being strong partners with local, state, and federal officials.”

Thank you to alumni—especially those who teach, lecture, and coach—for your flexibility, resilience, and support during this challenging time.


College of Law News


U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Following on from my recent email to all alumni, on March 17 U.S. News & World Report released the 2021 edition of the law school rankings. Like you, I am disappointed and deeply concerned by the College of Law’s ranking of #111, a significant drop from last year’s ranking of #91.

Although we track closely the various metrics associated with the annual rankings, this year’s drop is unexpected. It does not reflect the many positive developments and innovations that are happening at the College of Law or the high quality of the education we provide our students.

With University Chancellor Kent Syverud’s full support and counsel, I have engaged both an outside consultant and the University’s institutional research team to analyze the ranking data inputs to understand what led to this sharp drop.

We will evaluate their findings carefully and put in place concrete steps to reverse this development with urgency. To be clear, the University is committed to providing the resources necessary to assure the College’s ranking reflects the outstanding results we’re producing every day for our students.

I intend to schedule a live conversation with you—via webinar or conference call—to share what we learn from our analysis and to disclose the specific remedial steps we will be implementing. Please stay tuned for details. Your continued support is critical to our path forward. Thank you for all you do.


Advocacy Program Ranked #15 in Nation

There is some very good news for the College in the U.S. News & World Report 2021 law school Specialties Ranking. Our Trial Advocacy Program has risen to #15, in a tie with three other schools, a significant increase over last year’s ranking of #27. U.S. News voters are noticing our continued focus on this program, as well as the excellent results earned by our students. The Advocacy Program goes from strength to strength!


Ultimate Bar Pass Rate Exceeds 95%

Our 2017 graduates also have garnered some great news that illustrates the quality and preparation provided by a College of Law education. More than 95% of 2017 grads passed the bar exam regardless of jurisdiction, according to “ultimate bar pass rate” data released by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. The 2017 ultimate bar pass rate of 95.6% places Syracuse in the top 20% of ABA-accredited law schools nationwideREAD MORE


Celebrating Diversity in Law

On February 28, students from Syracuse-area schools met with College of Law faculty and students—as well as local practicing attorneys—to discuss and celebrate the importance of diversity, inclusion, and representation in the law. The high schoolers brought great energy to Dineen Hall! Thank you to Diversity Law Day co-sponsors, the New York State Bar Association, William Herbert Johnson Bar Association, Law School Admission Council, and Syracuse Civics InitiativeREAD MORE


Teaching Intelligence

The Syracuse University Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence held a well-attended, day-long symposium at the University on March 2. Pictured (L to R) on the panel “Teaching Intelligence: Policy, Law, and Ethics” are Institute for Security Policy and Law faculty members Professor Robert B. Murrett, Professor Laurie Hobart, and the Hon. James E. Baker.


Alumni Engagement


Patently Good Advice

Patent law practitioner Michael Kiklis L’93 recently hosted spring 2020 DCEx students at Bass, Berry & Sims. Kiklis offered advice on finding a job, and he discussed how he defends the intellectual property rights of his high-profile clients … READ MORE


Justice for Veterans

In late February, the College of Law and Onondaga County Bar Association co-hosted a CLE highlighting a new Syracuse court that handles veterans’ cases. City court judge the Hon. Theodore Limpert L’88 presented “Justice Involved Veterans: How to Best Serve Them” to Betty & Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic students and staff, members of the student-led VISION Network, local judges and attorneys, lawyers from Fort Drum, and others committed to serving our service veteran community.


Student News


On the Trail of Cold Cases

The remarkable and successful Cold Case Justice Initiative was the subject of a CNYCentral TV profile: “Since 2007, law students led by Professor Paula Johnson have brought unsolved racially motivated cases to the United Nations, Attorney General’s Office, and the FBI” … READ MORE

Mock Trial

Teaming Up for Mock Trials

College of Law Professor Todd Berger and Newhouse School Professor Elliott Lewis have teamed up for an innovative cross-campus collaboration to allow future television reporters and future lawyers to experience the drama of a high-profile murder trial … READ MORE


Faculty & Department News

John Sopko

Lessons Learned in Afghanistan

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko was the special guest in Professor Tom Odell’s Rule of Law in Postconflict Reconstruction class on March 10. Speaking with humanitarian law expert Professor Cora True-Frost, Sopko discussed lessons learned in reconstruction, fighting corruption, and peacebuilding since the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.

DLPP Zero Projects Award

DLPP Wins International Award

The Disability Law and Policy Program (DLPP) has won an international Innovative Practice Award for its disability law-related academic program. The award was presented at the Zero Project Conference, held at the United Nations Offices in Austria on February 20 … READ MORE


Professor Nina Kohn Publishes Second Edition of Elder Law

Elder Law: Practice, Policy, and Problems by Professor Nina Kohn is now in its second edition. An essential casebook for this growing area of the law, it combines a client-focused approach with in-depth discussions of elder law-related policy issues … READ MORE

Scholarship with Impact

Thank you for boosting the College’s reputation and visibility by sharing our news, scholarship, and faculty views on your social media channels.

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How You Can Make a Difference


Engage Future Employees with the Interview Program

The 2020 Interview Program is scheduled to begin on August 3. This Program allows employer partners to engage with our students virtually or through résumé collection; to conduct on-campus interviews with second-year students for summer or academic year positions; and to interview third-year students for academic year or post-graduate positions. Past participants will receive information in April via email. If you would like to participate for the first time, please contact the Office of Career Services at 315.443.1941. Thank you for hiring Orange!

Looking for Alumni Ambassadors

The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is looking for Alumni Ambassadors to connect with newly admitted students. A simple phone conversation or email shows the strength of the Orange Law family and helps immensely when admitted students are deciding on their college. If you’re interested in helping us, please contact Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management Denée Page.




Any and all College of Law in-person meetings and events have been cancelled until further notice. These cancellations do not affect online classrooms, online conversations, consultations, webinars, chats and other events, whether class-related, student-led, or social in nature.

Please stay tuned for details on this year’s Commencement Ceremony and our plans to celebrate the Class of 2020.

We will stay in touch with you! Look for my Dean’s Dispatch in April and for opportunities to meet online, and as always monitor our social media channels. Thank you.


Alumni Events


Back in the Second City

Many thanks to William J. Brodsky L’68, who hosted a wonderful reception at The Standard Club in Chicago on March 11. I updated alums on recent College of Law news, and SPL Director, the Hon. James E. Baker, discussed themes from his groundbreaking book on the ethics of artificial intelligence. It was a pleasure to return to the Second City, a metropolis I know well from my days at the University of Chicago Law School. 


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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