Hon. Barbara Howe, New York State Surrogate Judge for Erie County, has been chosen to receive the 2018 Edwin F. Jaeckle award, the highest honor bestowed by the University at Buffalo School of Law and the UB Law Alumni Association.
The Jaeckle Award is given annually to a person who exemplifies the highest ideals of the School of Law and the Law Alumni Association, and has made significant contributions to the school and the legal profession.
Judge Howe, a member of the law school’s Class of 1980, will accept the award at the School of Law’s annual New York City Alumni Luncheon to be held at noon on Friday, January 26 at the Union League Club in Manhattan during the week of the New York State Bar Association meeting. To attend, register online.
Completing her 30th year as a member of the judiciary, Judge Howe began her judicial career on the Buffalo City Court bench in 1988, and served as a New York State Supreme Court justice from 1992 to 2003. Since 2004, she has served as surrogate judge for Erie County.
As judge in one of New York State’s busiest courts, Judge Howe has frequently assumed leadership roles on numerous statewide committees. As a member of the New York State Office of Court Administration’s Legislative Advisory Group, she helped to initiate and implement legislation making Erie County Surrogate’s Court the first surrogate’s court in New York State with an e-filing option. She has also played an active role in shaping legislative proposals relating to estate and surrogate’s court practice while serving on the OCA’s Surrogate’s Court Advisory Committee.
Judge Howe is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Connecticut at Storrs where she earned a bachelor’s degree with highest honors. She has a master’s and a doctorate degree in sociology from Cornell University, and a J.D. from UB School of Law.
Prior to joining the bench, Judge Howe was a tenured faculty member in the sociology department at the University at Buffalo. While on the bench, she has served as an adjunct clinical professor of law at UB, and as an adjunct associate professor of sociology. She has authored numerous articles in sociology and the law, and more than 50 of her judicial decisions have been published by the New York State Reporter.
A former president of the UB Law Alumni Association, Judge Howe has maintained close ties with the law school throughout her academic and judicial career, teaching several courses, and actively promoting and participating in the law school’s mentor program. She was the recipient of the Law Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award for the Judiciary in 2001.
The Jaeckle Award is named for Edwin F. Jaeckle ’15, a founding partner of the Buffalo law firm Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel and a major benefactor of the school. Previous recipients include Hon. Charles S. Desmond, Hon. Matthew J. Jasen, Manly Fleischmann, Jacob D. Hyman, Hon. M. Dolores Denman, William R. Greiner, Thomas E. Black Jr., Hon. Eugene F. Pigott, Jr. and Terrence M. Connors.