Dean's Dispatch for Alumni

From the desk of Dean Boise

First, a big thank you to all alumni who joined us for Orientation Week 2018. It was an exciting and memorable introduction to the College of Law for the J.D. Class of 2021 and the LL.M. Class of 2019.

Whether you led an Experiential Exercise, attended Convocation, or took time out of your busy schedules to meet our new students, you have my heartfelt gratitude. We will continue to refine our Orientation Week programming for next year with important input from alumni volunteers and from Sarah Collins, our new Director of Student Affairs (see below). I welcome your input as well.

Please enjoy this captioned video of the Convocation proceedings, and in particular the inspiring message delivered by Paul Dimoh L’08, of Akin Gump, who assured the new students—and reminded our entire community—that we are “in the right place.” Please also visit and share with your social media networks our Convocation and Orientation Week photo albums on the College’s Facebook page.

Law Orientation 2018

The celebration of another big College of Law tradition is approaching very quickly! Along with our students, faculty, and staff, I am looking forward to seeing you at Law Alumni Weekend on September 27-30.


So far, we’ve had a terrific response to our invitations to this annual LAW event, and we’re expecting more than 370 guests. Our Advancement and External Affairs team—in partnership with many of you—has created a rich and varied program, everything from “time in the classroom,” to the Law Honors Awards, to symposia on pressing legal topics, to the Cold Case Justice Initiative’s 10-year celebration. See the program highlights below.  

It’s not too late to add your name to the guest list. If you want to “come home to Syracuse” to meet old friends and make new ones, please visit this page to sign up. See you on the 27th!

A word about our sponsors! I am most grateful to Bottar Law PLLC, Harris Beach PLLC, William Mattar Law Offices, and Wladis Law Firm for sponsoring Lunch with the Judiciary and Alumni and to Bottar Law PLLC for sponsoring the Syracuse Law Honors Award Ceremony and Party, both on September 28th.

College of Law News


Snapshot: The J.D. Class of 2021 & LL.M. Class of 2019

At Convocation, the College of Law greeted a diverse group of J.D. and LL.M. students. In total, we registered 193 J.D. students and 29 LL.M students. Here’s a snapshot of the J.D. Class of 2021, by the numbers:

  • Credentials
    • 75th Percentile: LSAT 156 | GPA 3.61
    • 50th Percentile: LSAT 154 | GPA 3.37
    • 25th Percentile: LSAT 152 | GPA 3.10 (up from 150 | 3.05!)
  • 56% of students are female and 34% are students of color
  • 10 identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community
  • 8 are military veterans
  • 12 are relatives of alumni and 45 are first-generation college students
  • 10 hold master’s degrees and 4 are in the two-year J.D. program
  • 126 colleges and universities, 28 states, and 7 foreign countries are represented
  • 18 languages are spoken
  • Students include an ex-TV news anchor, a US premier hockey league player, Division I football and baseball athletes, an Israeli Army veteran, start-up business owners, and the “youngest civilian to be employed at US Strategic Command”

And, in the LL.M. class of 2019:

  • 19 countries outside the US are represented: Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Kosovo, Madagascar, Namibia, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine
  • 4 students are Fulbright Scholars, one of whom also was a Rhodes Scholar

New Appointments in International Programs, Diversity and Inclusion, Student Affairs, and the Advocacy Program

I’ve made several critical appointments over the summer, as we complete the restructuring of essential student services.

Given the importance of the student experience, Sarah Collins will report directly to me, as will Zack Kelley, who has transitioned from Registrar to Assistant Dean for Student Resources and Internal Research. Stepping into the role of Registrar is Sally Greene, formerly Assistant Registrar. Please join me in congratulating all on their new roles!

Update to the Clinic Program

As we continue to align our Clinic Program with 21st-century practice, in order to provide students with meaningful opportunities to put learning into practice, one notable change will affect the Community Development Law Clinic. In 2019-2020, this Clinic will become the Innovation Law Clinic and begin serving entrepreneurial and start-up business clients within our Innovation Law Center, under the leadership of Professor Jessica Murray.

In other clinic news, in July 2018 the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) marked the 20th anniversary of the tax legislation that created this and other clinics nationwide. To mark this event, LITC Director Robert Nassau posted a video on the IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate website, adding his voice “to the chorus of happy birthday wishes” and touting the impressive number of tax disputes handled by our many LITC student attorneys who, since 2002, have worked with low income taxpayers under faculty supervision.

JDinteractive Gears Up

Our online law J.D. program is gearing up to greet its inaugural group of students, whose first residential program begins on Jan. 7, 2019. Professors Nina Kohn, Kathleen O’Connor, and their team—including Mary Louise (“Lou Lou”) Delmarsh, who recently joined the Office of Online Education as Program Coordinator—are building courses, putting services in place, and getting ready to welcome an accomplished and fascinating group of students.

I’ll share more details about the make-up of the incoming class soon, but thanks to a strong marketing campaign—and pent-up demand for a national, high-quality online program—applications are rolling in. We are accepting students on a regular basis, and there is significant interest from military and military-affiliated prospects.



Alumni News


Explore the ’Cuse Community!

By now you have received an email introducing you to ‘Cuse Community, a brand-new way to connect or re-connect our more than 10,600 College of Law alumni around the world; search for alums who work in your field; share professional news; and keep your contact information up-to-date.

I hope you are as excited as we are about this terrific networking resource, which enables you to connect with SU alumni from other schools and colleges. If you have not yet activated your ‘Cuse Community account, click on the button below, or email

Clicking on the button does not automatically register you into the community. To register, simply follow the prompts. Once registered, you will have an opportunity to view your information and make important choices on how you would like us to communicate with you and whether—and the extent to which—you would like to share your information with other alumni.

‘Cuse Community

A Great Return for this Kick-Off!

Thank you to all alumni who attended the annual Fall Kick-Off Welcome Reception, organized by the Office of Career Services on August 28. It was great to reconnect with so many of you and to see you interact with our impressive students.

Special thanks to keynote speaker Hank Greenberg L’86, president-elect of the New York State Bar Association, who offered wise words to students. Thank you also to our sponsors and partners: the New York State Bar Association, Onondaga County Bar Association, CNY Women’s Bar Association, William Herbert Johnson Bar Association, and Q-Law.

View and share our Facebook gallery of photos from the event!


A “Best Lawyer” Two-fer

Congratulations to alumnus Michael Bottar L’03, who has been named 2019 Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” in two categories: Medical Malpractice Law-Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation-Plaintiffs.

In addition to Bottar’s service on our Board, the College is proud to draw on his considerable skill and authority as an adjunct professor teaching Law Practice Management. Moreover, as Regional Vice President of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, Bottar represents the College throughout the state as a speaker at bar association, continuing education, and other events.

Quoted …

Congratulations also to alumna Kimberly Lau L’06, of Warshaw Burstein, who was recently quoted in The New York Times on September 10. The article (“Proposed Rules Would Reduce Sexual Misconduct Inquiries, Education Dept. Estimates”) can be read here.


Faculty & Department News


Legal Communication and Research (LCR) Faculty Complete a Summer of Scholarship

Led by LCR Director Ian Gallacher, members of the College’s LCR faculty were active during late spring and summer with a variety of scholarly activities, including research and publishing, speaking at conferences, and teaching at partner universities. “We are lucky at the College of Law to have an extraordinary group of LCR professors engaged in interesting and relevant scholarship,” Gallacher says.

Michael Schwartz Advocates on Behalf of People with Disabilities in Northern Ireland

Early in 2018, Professor Michael A. Schwartz and colleagues received a $200,000 grant from the UK’s Big Lottery funding program to study access to justice for Deaf people in Northern Ireland. Work on the two-year study has been ongoing throughout 2018, with Schwartz visiting Ulster during the summer and now preparing to return for the second of five trips in October 2018.

Faculty Impact

The media continues to reach out to faculty members for comment on a wide array of newsworthy topics, most recently fuel standards, 3-D printed guns, hiring and accessibility, and the New York State Judiciary. Browse selected stories below, or visit for the latest media hits. And where an article interests you, please share it on your social media accounts to help raise the profile of our faculty and the College!


How You Can Make a Difference


We Want to Hear from You! Please Take Our Short Curriculum Review Survey

Thank you to all those who have taken our curriculum survey so far—but I am looking for even more input from our alumni. It’s been some time since a full curriculum review was undertaken by the College, and this will be your last chance for a few years to help shape a strategic and timely course of study for our students, one that reflects the best practices of legal education and the needs of the modern workplace.

The survey is a very short one and should only take a few minutes of your time. I look forward to reading your point of view.


Dates Set for Admissions Fairs

Prospective students are well served by our Admissions team at enrollment events throughout the country, but there’s nothing like hearing about the benefits of a Syracuse law degree from an alumnus. If you are able to take time out of your busy schedules to attend any of the following events and meet prospects, we’d love to hear from you.

  • September 24: Greater Western New York Law School Fair, Buffalo, NY
  • September 26: SUNY Binghamton Law School Fair
  • September 27: Syracuse University Law School Fair
  • September 29: Chicago Law School Forum
  • October 6: Los Angeles Law School Forum
  • October 13: Miami Law School Forum
  • October 19: Atlanta Law School Forum
  • October 26-27: New York Law School Forum, New York City
  • November 2: San Francisco Law School Forum
  • November 10: Houston Law School Forum
  • November 21: Boston Law School Forum

For more information, please email Assistant Director of Admissions Danielle Burgo at

When You Meet, It’s a Snap!

Thank you to all of you who send me photos of your meet-ups with fellow alumni, be they for business or pleasure. I enjoy receiving them, and we will put them to good use. Your photos illustrate the wide reach of our community and the deep ties of our extended family.

Please keep your photos coming! Whenever you meet with another alum—at a conference, CLE session, playing golf, or at a sports game—snap a selfie, let us know where you are, and text the photo to Director of Alumni Relations Kristen Duggleby at 315.569.1200. I look forward to adding them to our “family album” on social media!


Alumni Events


Law Alumni Weekend Schedule of Events

Law Alumni Weekend (September 27-30) promises to showcase the best the College has to offer and celebrate everything our alumni have done and continue to do for their alma mater, their communities, and society at large. Highlights of a busy weekend include:

  • Symposium: Artificial Intelligence in the Law Profession, including David Zumpano L’92, Kathleen Turland L’95, Sandra Reid L’98, and Jason Mills ’95, G’96.
  • Bond, Schoeneck & King ADR Competition Final Round
  • Return to the Classroom, with professors Paula Johnson, Peter Bell, and Jennifer Breen.
  • Estate Planning: Structuring Charitable Gifts to Maximize Impact, with Professor Terry Turnipseed and Doreen Morelli Henson G’05
  • Lunch with the Judiciary and Alumni featuring Chancellor Kent Syverud, sponsored by Bottar Law PLLC, Harris Beach PLLC, William Mattar Law Offices, and Wladis Law Firm
  • CLE Session: SCOTUS 2018-2019 Preview, with Dahlia Lithwick, Slate Senior Editor and Legal Correspondent
  • Syracuse Law Honors Award Ceremony and Party, sponsored by Bottar Law PLLC
  • Syracuse Orange vs. Clemson Tigers Game Watch Party
  • “Celebrating Alumni of Color” Reception
  • Cold Case Justice Initiative 10-Year Anniversary Dinner (separate registration required)
  • Dineen Hall building tours

Read the full schedule at this webpage.


JFA 2018 invite

Supporting “Justice for All”

The College of Law is proud to sponsor the Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society (HLAS) “Justice for All” fundraising breakfast to be held at Drumlins Country Club in Syracuse, NY, on October 10 at 7:45 a.m.

HLAS does tremendous work ensuring all members of our community have access to justice. If you are in Syracuse, I hope that you will consider attending the breakfast to lend your support to this worthy cause.


Go Knights!

A big cheer to Ben Sidbury L’01, who hit a home run for Charlotte, NC-area alums when he hosted an alumni get-together on August 30 at the BB&T Stadium, the home of the Charlotte Knights. The Orange Lawyers watched the game from a private box and enjoyed great hospitality and company. And a win: the Knights bested the Durham Bulls 5-3.


100 Years Young

Another College of Law centenarian! Congratulations to Richard C. Kimball L’48, who turned 100 years young on August 28. The photo of Richard reminds us that he’s a huge SU sports fan. So from all of us at your alma mater, Richard, “Go Orange!”


And Finally …


A word about academic freedom of expression, opinions, and the turbulent times we live in. As you know, faculty members are often asked by journalists to comment on complex and divisive subjects. Sometimes, faculty members pen their own observations, and then our communications staff work with SU News Services to place their OpEds or essays.

I hope that when you spot our faculty in major newspapers or networks, you share our pride and recognize that these publication credits strengthen our College’s visibility and reputation. That doesn’t mean we all share the same opinion as the writer, but as lawyers we respect and contemplate the strongly held and clearly worded opinions of others.

As Dean, I cannot censor my faculty, and I will continue to support their scholarly work and their acts of public service. Nevertheless, I welcome your input on these public conversations, so when you have concerns and counterpoints to the opinions of our faculty, please continue to contact me.

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 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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