MAY 2018

Dean's Dispatch for Alumni

From the desk of Dean Boise

College of Law Celebrates the Commencement of the Class of 2018

It was with great pride and pleasure that I hosted Commencement on May 11. At a moving and joyful ceremony, surrounded by students’ friends and family, the College of Law conferred 174 Juris Doctor and 32 Masters of Laws (LL.M.) in American Law degrees. In addition, 25 J.D. graduates completed their dual degrees in a number of disciplines.

Preet Bharara, Distinguished Scholar, NYU Law School, and former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, delivered the commencement address. At the conclusion of his speech, he stressed that, “Never has the law been more important. Never have lawyers been more important. Never have leaders been more important.”

Class president Nicholas Dellefave L’18 and LL.M. Student Bar Association Senator Salem Hafez LL.M. ’18 delivered addresses. This year’s Res Ipsa Loquitur Award went to Associate Professor Lauryn Gouldin for her positive impact on the JD Class of 2018. Associate Professor Cora True-Frost L’01 received the Lucet Lex Mundum Award from the Masters of Laws students, in recognition of her significant impact on the LL.M. class.

This celebration was an appropriate conclusion to what has been a banner year for the College. Thank you to all alumni who have contributed time, talent, and resources all the way from Orientation to Commencement. What you do for your College means so much to us. Please share the pride on the faces of our newly-minted alums in the photos below, in the gallery, and in the event video.


Other College of Law News


Hon. James E. Baker Joins College of Law as Professor, Director of INSCT

Jurist, scholar, and law and policy practitioner the Hon. James E. Baker will join the faculty of Syracuse University College of Law, as well as the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, as a Professor in Fall 2018. Judge Baker will lead the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism as Director, succeeding Professor William C. Banks, who founded the Institute in 2003.

INSCT plays a vital role in the College’s strategic plan as one of our pillars of academic strength and differentiation. Judge Baker will help reinforce INSCT’s leadership position in the realm of national security and counterterrorism law. He is positioned to transform how the topic is studied and taught and to respond with intellectual agility as new national and international security challenges emerge. Under Judge Baker’s guidance, I fully expect INSCT to continue its exceptional track record of graduate placement in the field. His appointment is a boon for the College of Law and our students.

Read more

Class of 2018 Achieves Record Class Act Participation

I am very proud of the Class of 2018 for achieving a new record in philanthropic giving. The Class Act campaign is a University-wide initiative that encourages seniors to make a symbolic gift to the University of $20, plus their class year in cents. An astounding 79% of J.D. students and 81% of LL.M. students supported the campaign this year, which sets a new record for the College and leads the University at large.

The Class Act campaign has raised nearly $3,600, which will be matched dollar for dollar by the Board of Advisors, but its ripple effects will reach much further than dollars raised. The Class Act campaign plants the seed of philanthropy so that giving may grow as alumni advance in their careers. It’s safe to say mission accomplished for the Class of 2018!

This achievement will be commemorated in Dineen Hall on the Class Act Giving Wall, a new addition to the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Commons. I am very grateful to Alan Epstein L’74, Board of Advisors Member and Class Act Liaison to the Board, for his steadfast support of the campaign, and to the Class Act Committee, led by Nicholas Dellefave L’18 and Salem Hafez LL.M. ’18, for their leadership.


Moot Court Honor Society Celebrates Successful Year

On April 20, the annual Moot Court Banquet celebrated another successful year of intra-and inter-collegiate competitions, as well as the awarding of scholarships to 2L students. The first-ever Models of Excellence in Advocacy Award was given to Erika Simonson L’19. Each year this award will be conferred in honor of an advocacy alumnus to a student who demonstrates excellence in advocacy and exemplifies leadership, professionalism, and sportsmanship. For the inaugural presentation, the honoree was Judge Mae D’Agostino L’80.

The Emil M. Rossi L’72 Scholarship Award—established by Professor Travis Lewin and alumni in honor of their good friend Emil—was presented to Dennis Scanlon L’19. Make a gift in support of the prestigious Rossi Scholarship Award, or contact Assistant Director of Development Fritz Diddle at

Additionally, Professor Richard Risman was recognized during the ceremony for his many years of guiding and mentoring students as a coach. This was Richard’s last year as a coach, and we thank him for his longstanding support and contributions to MCHS.


Lessons in Leadership

On April 17, 2018, the College was honored to host the Hon. Raymond M. Kethledge, US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and Mike Erwin, CEO of the Character & Leadership Center and Founder of the Positivity Project. Kethledge and Erwin discussed their new book Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude. The discussion was moderated in the Melanie Gray L’81 Ceremonial Courtroom by University Vice Chancellor Mike Haynie.

Students in the News


Trial Practice Class Simulation Prepares Students and Volunteers for the Courtroom

Students in Lee Michaels’ L’67 Trial Practice class recently participated in a simulated trial as part of their final grade. The simulated trial cast the students as prosecutors, defenders, and witnesses in a fictitious criminal case. Also taking part in the simulations were judges, as well as deputies from the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department.

Read More

Christopher Clark L’18 to Participate in Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition for Second Consecutive Year

Alumnus Christopher Clark L’18 has been invited to participate in his second consecutive Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition held at Baylor Law School. 3L Sara Fitzpatrick will assist Clark during the competition and Joanne Van Dyke L’87, a partner at Coté and Van Dyke LLP, will serve as the team’s coach.

At last year’s Top Gun competition, Clark finished as runner-up. In addition to this event, Clark has participated in a number of intercollegiate competitions, including the National Trial Competition and Tournament of Champions. As a student at the College of Law, he captured the 2017 Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition and the 2017 Mackenzie Hughes LLP Edmund H. Lewis Appellate Advocacy competition.

Good luck, Chris!

Read More

In other student news …

… we celebrate the scholarship, service, and accomplishments of students (and some alumni), and students celebrate the end of the semester with banquets, inductions, and awards.

How You Can Help

Law Firm Giving Challenge is Underway

Earlier this Spring, I met with the managing partners of Syracuse and CNY law firms for a rich discussion about ways we might partner to create an even brighter future for the legal profession in Central New York. One product of this roundtable is the Law Firm Giving Challenge, which kicked off in mid-April and will continue through June 30.

The Challenge’s goal is to increase philanthropic support for the College among alumni who are employed at local firms. At the close of the challenge, we will recognize firms for gold- and platinum-level participation. I’m pleased to report that two firms already have achieved platinum level: Bottar Law and Riehlman, Shafer & Shafer!

A heartfelt thank you to all participating firms. There is still plenty of time to get involved and give to the Challenge—visit this webpage!

Fall 2018 On-Campus Interview (OCI) and Resume Collect Program

The College’s OCI program has invited rising 2Ls and 3Ls to apply and interview for summer 2019 positions and postgraduate opportunities. Employers are welcome to conduct interviews at Dineen Hall, off-site, or via phone/video and can be added on a rolling basis. If any employers would like to meet our talented, hard-working students, please contact Director of Career Services Stacey Wiley at or 315.443.1941. We look forward to hearing from you!

Scholarship in Action

Our faculty continue to make an impact across the University and far beyond Syracuse. Recently, they have provided expert commentary for the media, testified on Capitol Hill, provided training for the government, advised the University on disability policy, and more. Please take a few moments to browse their scholarship in action.

For Your Calendar

Syracuse Law Reunion Registration Now Open!

Sept. 27-30, 2018

Join us in the fall for a celebration and a full program of special events, including:

  • New! “Artificial Intelligence in the Profession” Panel Discussion
  • New! NDNY-FCBA Fireside Chat, with the Hon. David N. Hurd L’63
  • New! Celebrating Alumni of Color/NBLSA 50th Anniversary Cocktail Reception
  • Student and Alumni Networking Breakfast
  • Lunch with the Local Judiciary (CLE Program with Newsweek/Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick)
  • Law Honors Award Ceremony and Reception
  • SU vs. Clemson Game Watch Party
  • Special Events for the Class of 1968

Read program and travel details for more information.

Register Here

“It’s Never Too Late for Justice”: CCJI to Celebrate 10 Years of Racial and Social Justice Work

During Law Reunion Weekend, join the Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI) to commemorate more than 10 years of seeking justice and accountability for racially motivated killings during the Civil Rights Era. The celebration will include panel discussions and an awards dinner on Sept. 29 from 7:30-9 p.m. in Dineen Hall. The dinner will pay tribute to CCJI Founding Co-Director Janis L. McDonald and bestow the Frank Morris Award to CCJI alums and other civil and human rights activists. Dinner costs $50 general admission/$30 students. To RSVP, please contact Lisa Cummings at or 315.443.2158.

Other Alumni & College Events

Make a date in your calendar to join fellow alums at the following events. If you know a student home for the summer or a prospective student, please bring them along and introduce them to our family. Read alumni event updates here.

  • CNY Alumni Reception—June 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 246 W. Willow St., Syracuse, NY 13202
  • DCEx Opening Reception—June 11, 6-7:30 p.m. | Location TBD
  • NYC Alumni Reception—June 13, 6-8 p.m. | Marshall Street Bar & Restaurant, 306 E. 49th St., New York, NY 10017
  • DC Alumni Reception—July 10, 6-8 p.m. | Carmine’s, 425 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

To register for upcoming events, contact Director of Alumni Relations Kristen Duggleby at or 315-443-9532.

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 315.443.1964.

Contact us at 315.443.1964 or to change your address or to send us your updates!

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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