SUNY Buffalo Law Links

May 2015

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SUNY Buffalo Law Links

Inside this issue

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New York attorney general highlights Law School Commencement

Graduates will receive 201 J.D. degrees and 8 LL.M degrees when New York's only SUNY law school hosts the state's top law enforcer at its Commencement exercises on May 23. The ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m. in the Center for the Arts, will feature as keynote speaker Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who was elected to the office in 2010 and re-elected last year. [Read more]

Law School News

Cross-Border LL.M. a step closer to reality

SUNY Buffalo Law School's location on the Canadian border makes it an ideal choice for students who want to deepen their knowledge of cross-border legal issues. Now a proposed new master of laws program which builds on that strength has passed a critical milestone. [Read more]

Brazilian prosecutor comes to Buffalo for Criminal LL.M.

Change is difficult. That's true in personal life and it's especially true in societies, where cultural attitudes run deep. Often a change in laws leads the way to true progress. That's the situation now in Brazil, says a longtime public prosecutor who is attending SUNY Buffalo Law School this year, earning an LL.M. degree in criminal law.

Ana Lara de Castro has been a prosecutor in Brazil's Mato Grosso do Sul state for nearly 18 years, the last eight prosecuting domestic violence cases. That work is done under progressive 2006 legislation, informally called the Maria da Penha Law, that brought together a system of protection for the targets of domestic violence and created DV courts nationwide. [Read more]

Emotions run high at Law Review Dinner

The Buffalo Law Review is a dispassionate place for legal scholarship, but at the journal's year-end dinner, there was high emotion. First at the April 30 dinner, outgoing editor in chief Ryan G. Ganzenmuller '15 touched on the year's highlights, including two articles in particular that were reported in The New York Times. The Review also doubled the size of its office space and revamped its constitution. “We will remember two things: the work that people did and the people we met,” Ganzenmuller said. “Many of us have made extraordinary friends through the Law Review. Long after the work is gone, the people are what we'll remember.”

The emotions continued in remarks by the evening's two honorees, Vincent E. Doyle III '89 and John R. Nuchereno. [Read more / View Photos]

At Students of Color Dinner, aspirations and inspiration

Looking back in celebration and forward in anticipation, SUNY Buffalo Law School’s students of color gathered at their annual dinner to renew their commitment to “lift as we climb.”

The April 23 dinner – the 26th annual – was held at the Buffalo Niagara Marriott. A joint venture of the Black Law Students Association, the Latin American Law Students Association and the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, the event celebrated the achievements of 21 graduating students. [Read more / View photos]

Bringing the Women’s Human Rights Treaty to Buffalo

What does it mean to implement international human rights treaties locally? What would that mean in Buffalo? Those were the key question engaged at an exciting conversation held among Buffalo women’s rights advocates at SUNY Buffalo Law School, co-sponsored by the Buffalo Human Rights Center, UB’s Gender Institute, and Women of SUNY Buffalo Law. [Read more / View photos]

Faculty News

Michael Boucai says Indiana fight spotlights a dangerous trend

The controversy over Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act has brought much-needed attention to an entire class of laws, says Associate Professor Michael Boucai. [Read more]

Kenya's highest court cites Mutua in ruling

Most recently, the High Court of Kenya – the African nation's equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court – cited an article by Professor and former Dean Makau W. Mutua. The court ruled that Kenya had violated the rights of homosexual persons by refusing to allow government registration for a non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting LGBT persons from violence and human rights abuses.

In addition, Mutua will be in Rome through September after having been appointed scholar-in-residence/senior adviser at the International Development Law Organization. [Read more]

Professor Connolly speaks out on the practice of trap-neuter-vaccinate-return of feral cats

Professor Kim Connolly published an opinion piece supporting the practice of trap-neuter-vaccinate-return for "community cats". The Buffalo News, Apr. 16, 2015. [Read more]

Alumni News

Alumnus Chris Decker’s eye-witness account of the Kathmandu devastation

The 7.9 magnitude earthquake on Saturday, April 25, in Nepal, devastated Kathmandu and nearby areas, killing more than 8,000 Nepalis. D. Christopher Decker ’98, Chief Technical Advisor for the Rule of Law and Human Rights Program of the UN Development Program, was in the city when the earthquake struck. Read his first-hand account of the events that took place. [Read more / View photos]

Five questions with... Rebecca Schnirel '14

The Buffalo Law Journal talks with Rebecca Schnirel about her career at a newly formed law firm, her accomplishments while in law school, and the law scholarship established in honor of her late brother, Matthew Schnirel '08. [Read more]

Student Kudos

For an aspiring litigator, new opportunities at Yale

What do you do for an encore after an intense and rewarding spring semester in the New York City Program on Finance and Law? If you're second-year student Stephanie Rivas, you land a summer clinical internship at Yale Law School.

Rivas has won a coveted spot in Yale's Jerome Frank Legal Services Organization. As one of two student attorneys in the organization's Criminal Justice Clinic, she'll work to represent people who can't afford private attorneys, doing everything from client interviews and research to writing legal memoranda, dealing with opposing counsel and making court appearances to argue motions or present evidence. [Read more]

Sharing the lessons of perfection

Erin Decker, a second-year law student, tests well. OK, that's an understatement. She's one of only a handful of test-takers who aced her LSAT, close-reading and problem-analyzing her way to a perfect 180 score.

Now Decker is taking those skills to the next generation of future law students, teaching the fine points of the LSAT to both college students exploring the idea of law school and collegians and career-changers getting ready to take the test. [Read more]

Michael J. Schroeder '16 is recipient of a New York State Bar Association Fellowship

Congratulations to Michael Schroeder, who is the recipient of a New York State Bar Association Trusts and Estates Law Section Fellowship to gain experience in the chambers of Erie County Surrogate’s Court Judge Barbara Howe '80.

From the Law Alumni Association

Now it's easy to become a Lifetime Member of the Law Alumni Association!

Become a Lifetime Member for just $1000 and never worry about renewing your Law Alumni Association membership again. And now it's easy! Choose your preferred method of payment:

  1. Make a one-time payment of $1000 and be done.
  2. New - Pay in four installments of $250.00 to be made within a one-year period.

Join today online or contact the Law Alumni Office at or 716-645-2107.

Become a Law Alumni Association Member Today

Events Calendar

May 13 - 53rd Annual Alumni Dinner & Presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Awards

May 19 - Rochester Alumni Reception for Newly Admitted Attorneys

May 22 & 23 - Class 1965 - 50th Reunion

May 23 - Student Awards and Commencement

May 28 - Rochester Alumni Chapter CLE: Ethical Considerations for Attorneys Serving on Not-For-Profit Boards

May 28 - CLE: Issues in Integrated Domestic Violence Court

June 20 - Class 1960 55th Reunion Dinner

August 5 - 50+ Reunion Lunch

Oct. 2 & 3 - Reunion Weekend for the Classes of 1975, 1985, 1995 and 2005

Freeze Frame

Smiles from recent events:


04/29/15 - Lecturer Bernadette Gargano receives Justice Award
Lecturer Bernadette Gargano's Pro Se Civil Litigation Support Practicum receiving the Bar Association of Erie County's 2015 Justice Award.


04/23/15 - J.D. Jobs in the Courts
Buffalo native Susan Soong ’94, chief deputy clerk with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, shared her insights from a career in the federal court system that began straight out of law school.


The art of appreciation – and giving back

"The Law School gave me the tools to build an interesting and successful career, and I'm grateful for it," says Carol M. Matorin '76, who serves on both the Dean's Advisory Council and the steering committee of the Campaign for SUNY Buffalo Law School. "I would like other people to have the same opportunity." [Read more]

Campaign Ticker

2014-15 Annual Fund

What's your “because”?

Everyone has a reason for giving, we are confident that you have one as well. Is it “because you received a scholarship”? Perhaps it is “because you were more prepared to practice than those who paid twice as much for their legal education”? Could it also be “because you had a wealth of curriculum to choose from allowing you to explore many different areas of the law”?

Whatever your reasons may be, take them and turn them into action. Give today!

To make a gift today please visit our website or contact Shatorah Donovan at 716-645-9048 or

2014-15 Annual Fund Co-Chairs

Neil E. Botwinoff '82
New York, NY

Ann E. Evanko '79
Buffalo, NY

Lawrence M. Spaccasi '87
Washington, DC

Career Corner

2015-16 Summer-Fall Recruiting

Our 2015-16 Summer-Fall Recruiting schedule is now online. To assist you with your hiring needs, the Career Services Office has several programs available:

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

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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