MAY 2020


From the desk of Dean Boise

We held a proud awards celebration for our graduating students on May 7, despite the COVID-19 pandemic keeping us physically apart. The next day—our original commencement date—we sent a moving and popular tribute to this resilient and talented class, which I encourage you to watch. I am grateful to 47th Vice President of the United States Joseph R. Biden Jr. L’68 and JetBlue President and COO Joanna Geraghty L’97, along with faculty and staff, for joining me in our tribute.

I know you are as proud of our students as I am. Learn about their accomplishments and our plan to celebrate them in 2021 at, and please send your special congratulatory messages to the Class of 2020 to



College of Law News


On April 16, I joined the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society virtual banquet to celebrate what was—despite cancellations and postponements—one of our most successful years of competition. Students were cheered by coaches, evaluators, and judges, including Professor Emeritus Lewin, Lee Michaels L’67, and Emil Rossi L’72.


This Syracuse University News article—and accompanying video—about JDinteractive examines how an “Online Law Degree Program Benefits Many in COVID-19 Pandemic” … READ MORE


Alumni Engagement

Thank you to alumni who are participating as hosts and lecturers during this summer’s Externship Program. Many of THE placements will be remote, with seminars offered via Zoom. VIEW A CURRENT LIST OF PLACEMENTS AND LECTURERS HERE.

Congratulations to Vincent H. Cohen Jr. L’95, a partner at Dechert LLP, who has been elected to the University’s Board of Trustees. His knowledge and commitment to his alma mater will, in the words of Chancellor Kent Syverud, “bring added perspective to the board and complement the work being done by our current members” … READ MORE

Scott de la Vega

Scott de la Vega L’94, Director of the Departmental Ethics Office at the US Department of the Interior, spoke with DCEx students via Zoom for the final seminar of the semester in late April. De la Vega has spent much of his career as an ethics specialist within various government offices, including the White House and the office of 47th VP Joseph R. Biden Jr. L’68 … READ MORE


Student News


Rising 3L Tyler Jeffries (left) and Adam Leydig L’20 will represent the College at the annual Top Gun National Trial Tournament, which will be held online May 27-31. This is the fourth consecutive year that the College has participated in this prestigious invitation-only competition. Good luck Adam and Tyler!


Rising 3Ls Lisa Cole (left) and Christy O’Neil represented the College in the first National Online Trial Advocacy Competition, with O’Neil advancing to the semifinal round. The online competition filled a void left by the cancellation of most spring national competitions.


Jonathan Pilat L’20 used the legal expertise that he gained as a student attorney in the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic, paired it with his interest in public policy, and submitted an official public comment in April on a proposed legislative change by the US Department of Veterans Affairs … READ MORE


Analyzing a commonly used sentencing provision, John J. Dowling III L’20 has published “Circuit Split Deepens Over Whether Inchoate Drug Crimes Trigger Career Offender Enhancement” in the Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association’s spring 2020 newsletter … READ MORE

Professor Robin Paul Malloy and his students delivered the 8th Annual Issues in Local Zoning Education and Training Program to Onondaga County, NY, officials via videoconference in April. Alison Burrows L’20, Kaitlin Jacob L’20, and rising 3L Audrey Bimbi presented on variances, reasonable accommodations, and “spot zoning” … READ MORE



Faculty & Department News


Professor Robin Paul Malloy’s new book—Disability Law for Property, Land Use, and Zoning Lawyers (ABA, 2020)—is his latest on the intersection of disability, accessibility, and development. Book Authority lists two of his other books as among the best on the subject of land use.

Robert Nassau

Congratulations to Professor Rob Nassau, the recipient of a 2020 Syracuse University Teaching Recognition Award for Continuing Excellence. Normally conferred at the annual One University Awards ceremony, the full announcement can be read here.

In-person conferences and symposia may have been put on hold, but faculty have stepped up to offer research-based perspectives in web conferences and other online forums:

  • Professor Corri Zoli discussed her research on the “Islamic Law of Armed Conflict” during an Anethum Global webinar on May 19.
  • Professor Kristen Barnes presented her research on “Homelessness and Cities” at the Real Property Trust and Estates CLE Virtual Conference on May 14.
  • Professor Nina Kohn joined the African American Policy Forum’s “Under the Black Light: COVID in Confinement” webinar on April 29, where she examined COVID-19 in “confined spaces”.
  • On April 23, Professor Doron Dorfman led a UMass Law/OUTLaw “Moving the Needle” discussion on the FDA’s blood ban policy and recent changes in light of the pandemic.
  • On April 22, Professor Mary Szto took part in Syracuse University’s “COVID-19 Anti-Asian Racism Panel Discussion,” addressing the rise of anti-Asian hate as an unfortunate response to the crisis.

Scholarship with Impact

We’ve added a new category to our website news feed showcasing our faculty’s wide-ranging and cutting-edge research. Please help to amplify this scholarship, as well as faculty commentary on COVID-19 and other headline topics, by liking and sharing on social media.

Recent news clips include:

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How You Can Make a Difference


As the University approaches its fiscal year-end on June 30, in the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis, your support has never been more important. Gifts in any amount will allow us to continue to expand our programs while responding to the most pressing needs of our students. If you have already made your annual gift, thank you.

Recognizing that COVID-19 knows no bounds, we understand that not all of our alumni will be in a position to make a gift at this time. I thank you for your support and engagement and the impact you make on your alma mater and, above all, our students.

Make Your Gift

Along with Associate Director of Career Services Samantha Kasmarek and the Office of Career Services, I thank you for your outreach concerning student and graduate placement over the past few months. We encourage alumni who require assistance with any sort of remote work or research projects—big or small—to continue to contact Career Services. We will connect you to our talented and eager students.


For Your Calendar


Bills and Sabres Logos

New Summer & Fall Webinar Series Featuring the Perspectives of Alumni & Faculty

  • First Webinar: A Conversation with Gregg G. Brandon L’01, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Pegula Sports and Entertainment LLC (Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills)
  • Topic: The Impact of COVID-19 on Professional Sports

Stay tuned for more details. Please contact Director of Alumni Relations Kristen Duggleby for more information.


COVID-19 continues to affect our events and future plans, but please be assured that Law Alumni Weekend 2020—celebrating our alumni family as well as the College’s 125th Anniversary—will still take place either in person or virtually, or both! Stay tuned to our LAW 2020 webpage for updates.

Inclusion Network

Presented on behalf of the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association Inclusion Network and conferred at LAW 2020, nominations can still be made for both 2020 Law Alumni of Color Awards: the BLSA William Herbert Johnson Legacy Award and the LALSA Legacy Award.

Nominate Here

And Finally …

ABA Legal Education Section

I am honored to have been nominated as a member-at-large of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. Read the full slate of candidates here.

The nominees will be presented for election at the section’s business meeting during the ABA Annual Meeting in August. The Section’s Council and Accreditation Committee are recognized by the US Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for programs leading to the J.D.


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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