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Trial attorney Connors to receive Law School's top honor

Terrence M. Connors, a 1971 graduate of the Law School, will receive the 2016 Edwin F. Jaeckle Award on Jan. 29 in Manhattan during the week of the State Bar Association meeting. The award is given annually to "an individual who has distinguished himself or herself and has made significant contributions to the Law School and the legal profession." As part of the school's annual New York Alumni Luncheon, the presentation will take place at the Union League Club, 38 E. 37th St. [Read more / Register to attend this event]



Mitchell Lecture explores new realities in legal education and practice

The rapidly changing legal profession, and how law schools can best train future lawyers to thrive in this new environment, will be the topics of a major two-part presentation at SUNY Buffalo Law School.

The forum, collectively titled "Legal Education for a Changing Legal Profession," will take place Feb. 12 and April 8 at the Law School, in John Lord O'Brian Hall on the University at Buffalo's North Campus. It is presented as the 2016 Mitchell Lecture, SUNY Buffalo Law School's signature lecture series that since 1951 has brought distinguished legal scholars to speak on the most important issues in law. [Read more]


We're calling on you – the Law School’s alumni and friends – to help identify potential law students

It takes a team effort to make a great law school. Fortunately, SUNY Buffalo Law School’s 11,000-plus active alumni – and the legal professionals they work with every day – are part of the team.

That’s especially true as the Law School strives to identify and admit students of the highest caliber. In the face of national declines in law school applications, SUNY Buffalo Law is committed to enrolling smart, diverse, ambitious students who will grow into great lawyers.

Together with her staff, Lillie Wiley-Upshaw, vice dean for admissions and student life, is making that happen. But they can’t do it alone. And so they’re calling on you – the Law School’s alumni and friends – to help identify would-be students who can succeed in O’Brian Hall and beyond. [Read a brief conversation with Dean Upshaw]

The Law School mourns the loss of the following:


Former Erie County DA, State Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dillon

We are sad to share that a distinguished, long-serving, and well-loved member of the Law School’s adjunct faculty, Hon. Kevin M. Dillon ’76, passed away on Thursday, January 7 after a long illness. Judge Dillon only recently retired from the bench and from teaching in 2013.

Please visit our Facebook page if you would like to share a comment or remembrance of Judge Dillion.


Judith Kaye, New York's First Female Chief Judge

Judith Kaye, the first woman to be New York state chief judge, died early Thursday, January 7. Kaye was 77. (In this photo: Kaye (right), with her close friend Hon. M. Dolores Denman '65 (left))

New journal taps growing interest in Buddhism and Law

A little-explored area of scholarship is poised for exponential growth with the launch of a new legal journal at SUNY Buffalo Law School.

Buddhism, Law & Society is the first interdisciplinary academic journal to focus on Buddhist law and the relationship between Buddhism, law, and society. Buddhism and its many social and legal manifestations are a central area of interest for the journal, as are the state's legal relations to Buddhist actors, institutions and texts.

We invite articles on local community practices, jurisprudence, textual analysis, commentaries, legal subject matters, philosophy, procedure, ritual, ethics, law codes, social sanctions and other areas, both historical and current, as they relate to Buddhism and Law. We welcome submissions from legal practitioners as well as academics in a wide variety of disciplines in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Law. [Read more]

Faculty News


Q&A with Professor Guyora Binder: a scholar, a teacher and an inquirer

A law school is only as strong as its faculty, and alumni support is crucial to attracting and retaining the best legal minds. One way this plays out is in the creation of named faculty positions.

We sat down with Professor Guyora Binder, who holds the title of Hodgson Russ Faculty Scholar, to ask him about that designation and about the body of work he has compiled since he joined the Law School faculty in 1982. Binder also serves as vice dean for research and faculty. [Read more]

Alumni News


Hon. Gerald Whalen will become presiding Appellate Justice

Appellate Justice Gerald J. Whalen '83 of the Town of Hamburg will soon be named presiding justice of the Appellate Division's Fourth Department by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, according to several sources.

The appointment will mark the first time a Buffalo area jurist will serve as presiding justice since Justice M. Dolores Denman, who died in office in January of 2000. [The Buffalo News, Jan. 5]


Firm represents more than iconic name

As the years stretch on, there are fewer and fewer attorneys who were around when Buffalo Law School alumni Edwin F. Jaeckle '15 and Manly Fleischmann '33 roamed the halls of the law firm that once beared their names.

Yet there remain hallmarks of the presence and ideals of the leaders of the Buffalo firm, as seen in the more seasoned lawyers who actually met one or both of them and younger attorneys who have only heard of the nationally known figures who were considered legal titans in Buffalo. [Buffalo Law Journal, Dec. 28]

Staff & Faculty Kudos


Vice Dean Wiley named an NFJC Community Leader

Lillie V. Wiley-Upshaw, the Law School’s vice dean for admissions and student life, is being honored Wednesday, January 27, for her leadership in Discover Law, which introduces promising students of color to the possibilities of a legal career.

The National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York is recognizing Wiley at its luncheon with its Community Leader Award, which salutes organizations and individuals who “have made significant contributions to this region through … their special achievements in specific areas of community and professional life.” [Read more]


Melinda R. Saran receives Sandy Kulick Memorial Award

Vice Dean for Student Affairs Melinda R. Saran ’86 received the Sandy Kulick Memorial Award from the Bar Association of Erie County at their awards luncheon held Thursday, December 17, 2015. The award was presented in recognition of outstanding leadership in educating law students about the Lawyers Helping Lawyers Committee which provides confidential services that benefit the legal profession and the community at large. Saran has been instrumental over the year in collaborating with the Committee and helping them carry the message of hope and support to law students.

Events Calendar

Jan. 18 - UB's Martin Luther King Day Community Service Opportunity (NYC)

Jan. 21 - Still time to sign up! CLE: Current Issues in Commercial, Consumer and Employment Arbitration

Jan. 29 - Annual NYC Alumni Luncheon and presentation of the Edwin F. Jaeckle Award to Terrence M. Connors '71

Feb. 4 - CLE: Avoiding Ethically Compromising Situations in Advertising and the Media

Feb. 10 - 2016 Career Fair

Feb. 20 - Mugel Competition - Judges Needed!

Feb. 12 - Mitchell Lecture Part 1: Where is the legal profession today and where is it likely to go in the future?

Feb. 26 - 21st Annual BPILP Auction

Mar. 3 - Mentor Matching Reception

Mar. 10 - OUTLaw Annual Dinner Celebration

Mar. 10 - Annual Fund/Alumni Reception in New York City - Save the date

Apr. 8 - Mitchell Lecture Part 2: What are the implications of changes in the legal profession for law schools and legal education?

Apr. 9 - Wechsler Competition - Judges Needed!

Apr. 14 - Students of Color Annual Dinner & Awards Celebration - Save the date!

Apr. 28 - Law Review Dinner - Save the date!

May 11 - Law Alumni Association's Annual Dinner and presentation of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards - Save the date!

Volunteers Needed

SUNY Buffalo Law School's Advocacy Institute and Buffalo Moot Court Board are hosting the Albert R. Mugel National Tax Moot Court Competition and the Herbert Wechsler National Criminal Moot Court Competition and currently seek volunteers. For those who volunteer their time, CLE credit will be offered for each competition.

Feb. 20, 2016: Albert R. Mugel National Tax Moot Court Competition (CLE Credit Available) (Note date change!)

This year's competition will be held February 20, 2016, at the Erie County Courthouse in Downtown Buffalo. The Mugel Competition is the oldest national tax moot court competition in the United States. Each year, the Mugel Competition gives law students from across the nation an opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in oral advocacy and brief writing on a cutting edge issue of federal tax law and policy. Tax expertise is not required, as a bench brief will be circulated to all judges. Non-transitional CLE credit will be provided for participating lawyers.

Apr. 09, 2016: Herbert Wechsler National Criminal Moot Court Competition (CLE Credit Available)

This year's competition will be held April 9, 2016, at the Erie County Courthouse in Downtown Buffalo. Named after the drafter of the Model Penal Code, the annual Wechsler Competition is the only national moot court competition in the United States to focus on topics in substantive criminal law. Problems address the constitutionality and interpretation of federal and state criminal statutes as well as general issues in the doctrine of federal and state criminal law. Non-transitional CLE credit will be provided for participating lawyers.

Please email the Buffalo Moot Court Board ( to confirm your interest and availability (including any specific limitations). Once the Board receives your response, they will contact you with further details as they become available. [Volunteer now!]


Western New York Mentors Needed!

The Law School and the Law Alumni Association coordinate an annual mentoring program for law students. Experienced practitioners in the Western New York area (attorneys admitted for three years or more) are matched with a first-year law student or LL.M. student. The time commitment is minimal, and our students benefit greatly from the insight and expertise offered by members of our local legal community. [Register here to participate in the program]

Freeze Frame

Smiles from some of our recent events:


01/14/16 - The Law Alumni Association gives advice on professional development
Members of the Law Alumni Association visited the first-year Legal Profession class to give pointers on networking and professional development. Thank you panelists: Jeffrey P. Gleason '08, Tasha E. Moore '98, LAA President Robert P. Heary '91, Melissa A. Foti '03 and Jeffrey C. Stravino '97.


Campaign Ticker


Erma Hallett Jaeckle leaves $1 million bequest

Always a canny lawyer with an eye for making the best use of her resources, Erma Hallett Jaeckle '36 included two provisions in her will that benefit SUNY Buffalo Law School. The first was an outright bequest on a percentage basis that totals just more than $1 million. The second was to establish charitable remainder trusts for the benefit of her sons, with the balance in the future to benefit the Law School as well; that future gift may well total an additional $1.25 million. [Read more]

2015-16 Annual Fund

You Matter!

As the Law School enters a new year we thank each and every one of you, our alumni and friends, for being a part of our community. We look forward to working with you in 2016 as we enter the final year of our $30 million campaign. The Law School would not be a success without your support.

We ask you to join us in the final phase of our most ambitious fundraising efforts in Law School history. You matter to our future; we cannot meet this goal without your generous support. Your gifts and pledges help to continue our well-reputed legacy of public legal education in New York State.

You can make an immediate impact now by making your gift today. Please visit our website or contact Shatorah Donovan at 716-645-9048 or

Every dollar counts toward our Campaign goal of $30 Million and helps the community of which you are a key part.

Thank you!

2015-16 Annual Fund Co-Chairs

Kenneth W. Africano '85
& Maura Africano
Buffalo, NY

Christopher A. Wightman '99
& Diane Wightman
San Francisco, CA and New York, NY

Click to make your gift today!

Career Corner

Hire SUNY Buffalo Law School Talent

Recruit talented SUNY Law School students or alumni with the assistance of the CSO. For help in filling your legal or professional hiring needs, contact Marc Davies at

SUNY Buffalo Law Career Fair - February 10, 2016

Participate in this year's Career Fair. Employer registration can be found online. This event is hosted by SBA and BPILP. For more information, please contact Marc Davies at

From the Law Alumni Association

Are you a SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association member yet?

Please show your support by joining or renewing your membership today. Your membership dues are used towards our many alumni association activities including events and programs hosted by our Chapters in New York City, Rochester, Albany, Chicago, Central New York, and Washington, D.C. In addition, a portion of your dues support tuition scholarships to help recruit the best and the brightest students to SUNY Buffalo Law School, and to secure your Law School's future as a premier educational institution.

Join the Law Alumni Association Today!

Contact Us

Law Links is published by the Alumni, Public Relations & Communications Office. For questions or comments, contact: Ilene Fleischmann, Vice Dean for Alumni, Public Relations & Communications at 716-645-7347 or

Visit Hotlinks - a list of names and web resources available to make communicating with the Law School's Alumni office more efficient.

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SUNY Buffalo Law School
John Lord O'Brian Hall
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