Who We Are

Alumni In Action

On January 2, New York State Appellate Division Justice Gerald J. Whalen ’83 (left) administered the oath of office to Governor Andrew Cuomo (right).

Whalen was elected to state Supreme Court in 2005 in Erie County and in 2012 was appointed by Governor Cuomo to the Appellate Division-Fourth Department. Before his election he spent 21 years in private practice, most recently as a partner in the Buffalo office of the law firm Hiscock & Barclay.

Whalen has experience in both criminal and civil litigation. As a sitting judge, he has volunteered for duties in the Medical Negligence Part and also assumed the Cattaraugus County docket after the reassignment of Judge Larry M. Himelien. He has spent time in Special Term on criminal cases and handled post-judgment matrimonial matters to broaden his experience as a jurist.

Hon. Eugene M. Fahey '84

Fahey Named to Fill Court of Appeals Vacancy
SUNY Buffalo Law School will soon be able to claim two alumni as judges on the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals. Coincidentally, they both share the same first name of Eugene: Hon. Eugene F. Pigott, Jt. '73 currently serves on the court, and now Eugene M. Fahey '84 has been nominated. [Read more

Other Notable Alumni

SUNY Buffalo Law alumni have significant influence at local, state and national levels. Below is small sampling of our 11,000 law alumni that documents the Law School’s impact in providing civic leaders.

The Judiciary

SUNY Buffalo Law alumni comprise over 247 members of the judiciary including:

  • 1 US Circuit Court Judge for US Court of Appeals (Third Circuit)
  • 5 US District Court Judges
  • 3 US Magistrate Judges
  • 3 US Bankruptcy Court Judges
  • 1 New York State Court of Appeals Judge
  • 7 New York State Appellate Division Justices
  • 20 New York State Supreme Court Judges
    (including the Administrative Judge for the 8th Judicial District)
  • 43+ County and Family Court Judges
  • 1 Erie County Surrogate
  • 29+ Administrative Law Judges


Our alumni hold various executive positions within the federal, state and local government including:

  • US Attorney, Western District of New York
  • Director of Bureau of Justice, US Department of Justice
  • Head of INTERPOL's Counterterrorism, Public Safety and Maritime Security Directorate
  • WDNY Federal Defender
  • Former Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys,
    US Department of Justice
  • Former United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel,
    US Department of Justice
  • Former US Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy, White House
  • Legal Branch Chief, US Securities and Exchange
  • Chairman, National Labor Relations Board
  • 3 Colonels/US Department of Defense
  • Retired Brigadier General, US Marines
  • Retired supervisory special agent & chief division counsel for the FBI
  • Commissioner of the New York State Special Commission on Judicial Compensation
  • New York State Bar of Examiners
  • New York State Commission on Youth, Public Safety & Justice
  • Director of the New York State Division of Human Rights, Buffalo Office
  • Principal Counsel for the NYS Attorney Grievance Committee
  • Chairwoman of the NYS Board of Parole
  • Legislative Director and Counsel for New York State Senate
  • 2 New York State Senators
  • 3 New York State Assemblymen
  • Erie County District Attorney
  • Monroe County Public Defender
  • Corporation Counsel for the City of Buffalo
  • Mayor of Syracuse, NY
  • Mayor of White Plains, NY
  • Chief of the Rochester Police Department


Our alumni have leadership roles in education including:

  • 3 Deans of US Law Schools
  • 1 Dean of a Canadian Law School
  • 5 General Counsels for Major Academic Institutions
  • 2 Vice Presidents for Major Academic Institutions
  • 6 Law School Professors
  • 1 Professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence
  • 1 Director of Athletics/Special Assistant to the President

Business & Law

Our alumni represent a significant number of leadership positions in business and law including:

  • Over 110 Managing Partners at Law Firms
  • 70+ General Counsel Positions in Private Industry
  • 11 Corporate CEOs


Our alumni hold leadership positions at many non-profit organizations including:

  • Former President, TransAfrica Forum
  • Former Senior Legal Counsel, Human Rights Watch
  • Assistant Legislative Director, New York Civil Liberties Union
  • Principal Attorney in Charge, New York State Mental Hygiene Legal Service
  • Chief Counsel, Maryland Legal Aid
  • Executive Director, Bar Association of Erie County’s Volunteer Lawyers’ Project
  • Administrator, Bar Association of Erie County’s Assigned Counsel Program
  • Chief Executive Officer, Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled or Disadvantaged of WNY

Boards of Directors

SUNY Buffalo Law alumni representation exists on over 1500 cultural, academic, non-profit and advisory boards. Our alumni dominate local legal organizations holding a vast majority of leadership positions on Western New York boards. Below are just a few of the national, statewide and local boards that include SUNY Buffalo Law School graduates:

  • SUNY Board of Trustees
  • UB Council
  • UB Foundation including chair
  • Attorney Grievance Committee, Fourth Judicial Department
  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery
  • Allentown Association
  • American Association of Law Schools
  • American Bar Association
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association
  • American Red Cross
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Artpark
  • Bar Association of Erie County including president
  • Bar Association of Erie County’s Assigned Counsel Program
  • Bar Association of Erie County’s Volunteer Lawyers’ Project
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
  • Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
  • Buffalo Board of Education
  • Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority
  • Buffalo General Hospital
  • Buffalo Museum of Science
  • Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
  • Buffalo Niagara Partnership
  • Buffalo Olmstead Parks Conservancy
  • Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Buffalo Renaissance Foundation
  • Burchfield-Penney Art Center
  • The Cameron and Jane Baird Foundation
  • Castellani Art Museum
  • Child and Family Services Haven House
  • Citifinancial Mortgage Corporation
  • Citigroup Security and Fund Services Advisory Board
  • Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
  • Compass House
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Erie County Family Justice Center
  • Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority
  • Erie County Industrial Development Agency
  • Evans Bancorp
  • Evans National Bank
  • Food Bank of Western New York
  • The Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies
  • Gay and Lesbian Youth Services
  • Genesee Community College Board of Trustees
  • Girl Scouts of America
  • The Graycliff Conservancy
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Hallways Contemporary Art Center
  • Hauptman-Woodward Medical research Institute
  • Haven House
  • HOME-Housing Opportunities Made Equal
  • International Institute of Buffalo
  • Irish Classical Theater Company
  • Kaleida Health
  • Key Bank
  • Kleinhans Music Hall Management
  • The Kosciuszko Foundation
  • Leadership Buffalo
  • Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo
  • Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled or Disadvantaged of WNY
  • Literacy Volunteers of America
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • The Margaret Wendt Foundation
  • Minority Bar Association of Western New York including president
  • Mortgage Bankers Association of America
  • National Bar Association
  • National Conference of Community and Justice
  • Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc.
  • New York Bulls Initiative
  • New York Federal Reserve Bank
  • New York State Bar Association including former president
  • New York State Board of Law Examiners including chair
  • Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
  • Olmstead Parks Conservancy
  • Planned Parenthood of Western New York
  • Rochester Black Bar Association including president
  • Rochester Museum of Science
  • Roswell Park Cancer institute
  • Saint John Fisher College
  • Shakespeare in Delaware Park
  • Shaw Festival Theater
  • Shea’s Performing Arts Center
  • Sierra Club
  • Southeast Works
  • SPCA
  • Strong Memorial Hospital
  • Strong National Museum of Play
  • Suneel’s Light
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • Texas Mortgage Bankers Association
  • United Cerebral Palsy Association
  • United Way
  • WBFO/National Public Radio
  • Western New York Area Labor Federation (AFL-CIO)
  • Western New York Law Center
  • William B. Hoyt Memorial Children and Family Trust Advisory Board
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York including former president
  • YMCA of Greater Buffalo
  • YMCA of Niagara
  • Zoological Society of Buffalo

Recent Awards and Recognition

In just the past five years, our alumni have been recognized for their high levels of achievement and impact on the community receiving numerous awards and recognition including:

  • 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports - Sports Illustrated Magazine
  • A MacArthur Foundation "Genius" fellow
  • American Bar Association’s Distinguished Environmental Advocates Award
  • Blance F. Ittleson Award from the American Orthopsychiatric Association
  • Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame
  • Business First Humanitarian of the Year
  • Buffalonian of the Year - City of Buffalo
  • Distinguished Alumni Award - Canisius College
  • Distinguished Alumni Awards  presented by the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association to 24 alumni in the past 5 years
  • Edwin F. Jaeckle Award--the highest honor SUNY Buffalo Law School and the Law Alumni Association can bestow--was presented to five alumni in the past five years
  • Founders Award from the FBI Buffalo Citizens Academy Alumni Association
  • Group Superior Honor Award from the Secretary of State in recognition of outstanding work during the negotiation of missile defense agreements with the Czech Republic and Poland
  • National Association of Estate Planners & Councils Hall of Fame
  • National Press Photographers Association’s Kenneth P. McLaughlin Award of Merit & the Presidential Medal
  • President's Award - National Association of Industrial and Office Parks
  • President’s Award – Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York Western New York Chapter
  • Rear Adm. Hugh H. Howell Jr. Award of Excellence- the highest honor given in the Navy Reserve Law Program
  • Seymour H. Knox, Brick by Brick Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Trailblazer Award – Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • Women in Leadership Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners Buffalo Niagara
  • Women Lawyer of the Century from the Women Lawyers of Western New York