Dean's Dispatch for Alumni

From the desk of Dean Boise

My thoughts are with all of our alumni whose communities have been devastated by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. I know you will not be surprised to learn that within hours of the Texas storm, our caring and energetic College of Law students launched a fundraising drive in partnership with fellow law students in Houston, and now they are mobilizing for Florida too.

As the calendar and busy football season indicate, fall is upon us and there is a great deal of activity throughout Dineen Hall. We have many speakers, events, and competitions lined up this semester—many of which involve our alumni—that will provide our students with tremendous practical learning opportunities.

I’ll keep you updated on these events 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 news and photographs.

New Board Members Bring Expertise and Passion

This month, I am pleased to welcome two new members to our College of Law Board of Advisors, Sharon Barner ’79 and Frank W. Ryan IV L’94.

Sharon Barner, one of our 1L Convocation speakers last fall, is Vice President and General Counsel of Cummins, Inc., in Indianapolis, Indiana, and former Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the Obama administration.

Sharon Barner

Frank Ryan is a partner at DLA Piper in New York City, and is the U.S. Chair of its Intellectual Property Practice; Deputy Chair of the Global Media, Sport, and Entertainment Sector; and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and Global Board. Frank served as our Convocation speaker in August, and he will return in October to attend Alumni Reunion Weekend to receive a SULAA Law Honors Award.

Frank Ryan

Both Sharon and Frank bring a deep passion for our mission and will provide insightful leadership and guidance as we move forward and deliver on our strategic plans.

The College of Law’s 2017 Yearbook Is Now Online

Our Yearbook, the annual publication that celebrates the College’s achievements from the past academic year, is now online. Use our new e-reader feature to make viewing and sharing the magazine from your computer, smartphone, or tablet easy and enjoyable. Our Giving Book will be in your mailbox and online later this fall!

College of Law News

Welcome the Class of 2020 and LL.M. Class of 2018

A little more than a month ago we welcomed 203 new J.D. students and 24 LL.M. students to the College of Law. The Orientation Week program was a great success, with more than 35 alumni giving their time to participate in panel discussions of specialized areas of the law, the future of the profession, and the importance of cross-cultural competency in our profession. I was pleased to moderate two panels and was impressed by the students’ engagement and close attention to the discussions.

Other highlights of the week included the convocation address, delivered by Frank W. Ryan IV L’94, and the alumni welcome given by Colleen Gibbons L’17.

Feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive. They were in awe of our alumni’s accomplishments and stature in the profession and felt warmly welcomed into the College of Law community. Thank you for making a positive, early impact on this impressive class of students.

Here are some details about the incoming classes:

J.D. Class of 2020 (bold indicates improvement from Class of 2019):

• LSAT percentiles: 75th = 156; Median = 154; 25th = 150
• GPA percentiles: 75th = 3.61; Median = 3.39; 25th = 3.05
• Gender ratios: Males 108/53.2%; Females 95/46.8%
• Diversity percentage: 27% (55 of 203 students)
• States represented: 30 (53% are from New York)
• Veterans: 11
• Related to College of Law alums: 9

LL.M. Class of 2018:

• Countries represented: 14
• Fulbright Scholars: 3

We also welcomed two students to our two-year J.D. program, one from the Republic of South Korea and the other from Saudi Arabia.

Help Us Recruit the Class of 2021

Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management Nick Wallace and his team are already recruiting the Class of 2021, and our goal is to enroll one of the strongest entering classes in recent history. To support their efforts, please consider volunteering to connect with admitted students and to share your stories about the impact the College has had on your life and career. Your positive influence will help us yield the highest scoring applicants possible. In fact, there are a variety of ways to get involved. If you would like to help our efforts, please contact Assistant Director of Admissions Kelly Brant at

Stacey Wiley L’00 Returns to lead the Office of Career Services

It is always a positive sign when our alumni want to join the College of Law and help guide future generations of students. I am excited that Stacey Wiley L’00 has returned to the College as Director of Career Services. Stacey was most recently Director of Career Development at State University of New York (SUNY) College at Geneseo. Before that, she served as Assistant Dean for Career and Student Affairs at Quinnipiac University School of Law and as Associate Director of Career Services at Cornell Law School. She brings a strong career service and professional development background to her role as we strive to ensure that every one of our graduates finds a rewarding and satisfying career. I am sure many of you will get to know Stacey, or reconnect with her, soon. You can reach her at or 315.443.1941. Welcome, Stacey!

Building Bridges to the Legal Community

Strengthening the College’s relationships with the local and regional legal community is critical to bringing meaningful educational opportunities to Dineen Hall. To that end, I am happy to report a new partnership with the Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association (NDNY FCBA). The NDNY FCBA and the College’s Institute for Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media will co-host a CLE event during this year’s reunion weekend program—United States Supreme Court: 2017-2018 Term—on Oct. 20, 2017. Join Us!

I am also thrilled that we’ve partnered with the New York State Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Section to bring the Advanced Trial Academy program to Dineen Hall this fall. Building on the basic Trial Academy at Cornell Law in the spring, this exclusive advanced workshop will provide New York practitioners an opportunity to deepen their trial skills. As part of our partnership with NYSBA, we secured the opportunity for our students to compete for a slot in the program, which makes this program unique.

Alumni Involvement Makes the Difference in Externships
In every issue of my Dean’s Dispatch, I take great pride in highlighting the many ways that you, our alumni, contribute to our mission. This fall, some of you are yet again making special appearances in our externship program. In Washington, DC, for instance, four alumni will serve as speakers at special events designed to amplify the DCEx experience and to help acclimate externs to the professional world from a practitioner’s point of view:

Joseph Di Scipio L’95, Senior Vice President, Legal and FCC Compliance, Fox Television Stations
Kevin Minsky L’94, Associate General Counsel, Booz Allen Hamilton
Candice Geller L’16, Honors Attorney, Employment Law and Labor Branch, Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice
Kurt Wimmer L’85, Partner and Chair, Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice, Covington & Burling LLP

In many ways, alumni that graciously host our students are the backbone of our externship program. This fall, our alumni hosts for the DCEx program are:

• Jennifer Holtz L’08, Deputy Division Chief, Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability, Federal Communications Commission, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Policy and Licensing Division
• Michael Berkow L’81, Director, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service
• The Hon. Dennis L. Phillips L’81, U.S. Administrative Law Judge, Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
• The Hon. J. Jeremiah Mahoney L’69, Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Hearings and Appeals

Coming Back Together

Coming Back Together

Last week I had the honor of hosting several African American and Latino College of Law alumni who returned to campus for the University’s Coming Back Together celebration. Current College of Law and other University students joined us for a lunch reception in Dineen Hall. As part of the University’s extensive programming for the weekend, a number of College of Law alumni participated in panel discussions across campus. Vincent Cohen, Jr. L’95 (Dechert LLP) and Jose Perez L’07 (Law Offices of Jose Perez, PC) participated on a Community Law panel; Keisha Audain Pressley L’00 (PIMCO) spoke on Careers in Banking and the Financial Industry; and Lori Anne Douglass L’87 (Moses Singer) participated in the Retirement Planning Seminar.

Students In the News

Ptahra Jeppe

Yet again, our students are making an impact that extends well beyond the classroom. For example, I encourage you to read this story about how 2L Ptahar Jeppe helped spur enactment of New York State’s “Dyslexia Bill.”

Faculty News

In their scholarship and teaching, our faculty members continue to extend the global reach of the College of Law:

• This summer, Professor Arlene Kanter spent time in Kenya and Israel engaged in disability rights scholarship and advocacy.
• Associate Professor Cora True-Frost spoke at the 2017 Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law where she delivered a paper, “Addressing the ‘Conditions Conducive to Terrorism’ and the Evolving Roles of Civil Society in International Security.”
• Professor William C. Banks celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism’s groundbreaking New Battlefields/Old Laws project with a workshop on “Crisis Management in Times of Transition” in Herzliya, Israel.

Law Reunion Weekend

I hope that you are planning to attend this fall’s Law Reunion Weekend on October 20 and 21. We have a number of exciting events lined up, and I look forward to meeting many of you back on campus. Come share your memories of the College of Law and visit with other alumni, faculty, staff, and our students.

You can view the Law Reunion Weekend website to find more information and register to attend. A highlight of the weekend will be Friday afternoon’s CLE entitled, “United States Supreme Court: 2017-18 Term” from 1:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m., with guest lecturer Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog. A panel discussion will follow, moderated by Keith Bybee, Vice Dean and Hon. Joanne F. Alper ’72 Judiciary Studies Professor of Law. Panel participants will include:

The Hon. Rosemary S. Pooler, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit;
Amy L. Howe, Reporter and Editor, SCOTUSblog;
William Wiecek, Chester Adgate Congdon Professor of Public Law and Legislation Emeritus;
Lauryn Gouldin, Associate Professor of Law; and
Andrew Kim, Associate Professor of Law.

Upcoming Alumni Events

I hope to see you this fall in a city near you!

• Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017: Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic Fundraiser; 171 Genesee St., Utica, NY, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

• Thursday, Sept.28, 2017: Rochester Alumni Reception; Oak Hill Country Club.

• Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017: Chicago Alumni Reception; Union League of Chicago.

• Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017: Philadelphia Alumni Reception; Cozen O’Connor P.C.

• Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017: Albany Alumni Reception; The Great Hall, New York State Bar Association.

Click here to R.S.V.P. or register and to find additional details on these events.

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.

Just one more thing—the next time you visit the Syracuse University online giving portal you will notice a fresh new look and user-friendly navigation. Making a gift to the College of Law has never been easier or quicker!

Make a Gift
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