The Advocacy Institute

The Advocacy Institute is dedicated to helping students cultivate the skills, discipline, and ethics necessary to become creative and principled litigators. 

The Institute serves as host to the law school’s programs in Trial Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy, and Mediation. Through these programs, students train with leading judges, trial attorneys, and faculty to develop the litigation skills necessary to successfully advocate on behalf of their future clients. The Advocacy Institute is also home to the Law School's Innocence and Justice Project, which tackles the problems of over-incarceration, racial injustice in the criminal legal system, and unjust convictions, through litigation and research.

The Advocacy Institute also seeks to provide new opportunities for our students to apply their first-rate doctrinal and theoretical education to the practice of law. The Advocacy Institute’s National Advisory Board, comprised of nationally recognized practitioners and jurists, provides guidance and counsel to the Institute’s Director as to how to develop, enhance, and expand the Institute’s programs.

The Advocacy Institute depends on the generosity of alumni and friends of the University at Buffalo School of Law for its existence and growth. To become involved in our mission, please contact: law-advocacy@buffalo.edu. Thank you for your support.

The Advocacy Institute is pleased to offer a Certificate of Concentration in Advocacy to qualifying JD students.

Contact Us

The Advocacy Institute

For additional information on the Advocacy Institute, or to become involved in our mission, please contact law-advocacy@buffalo.edu.

Trial Advocacy
*
Jennifer Scharf, Director

Appellate Advocacy
*
Lucinda FinleyDirector

Mediation
*
Steven Sugarman, Director

National Advisory Board

Christine P. Bartholomew Professor, University at Buffalo School of Law .

Christine P. Bartholomew
Professor, University at Buffalo School of Law

Michael A. Battle ’81 Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP .

Michael A. Battle ’81
Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Jennifer A. Beckage ’07 Partner, Beckage PLLC .

Jennifer A. Beckage ’07
Partner, Beckage PLLC

Donald P. Chiari ’83 Partner, Brown Chiari LLP .

Donald P. Chiari ’83
Partner, Brown Chiari LLP

Robert A. Clifford Founder/Senior Partner, Clifford Law Offices .

Robert A. Clifford
Founder/Senior Partner, Clifford Law Offices

Terrence M. Connors ’71, Chair Partner, Connors LLP .

Terrence M. Connors ’71, Chair
Partner, Connors LLP

John J. Fromen, Jr. ’87 John J. Fromen, , Attorneys at Law, P.C. .

John J. Fromen, Jr. ’87
John J. Fromen, , Attorneys at Law, P.C.

Lucas J. Fromen '21 School of Law Student .

Lucas J. Fromen ’21
School of Law Student

Neil A. Goldberg ’73 Partner, Goldberg Segalla .

Neil A. Goldberg ’73
Partner, Goldberg Segalla

E. Stewart Jones Partner, E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy .

E. Stewart Jones
Partner, E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy

Craig A. Leslie ’97 Partner, Phillips Lytle LLP .

Craig A. Leslie ’97
Partner, Phillips Lytle LLP

Michael D. Mann ’06 Partner, Sidley Austin LLP .

Michael D. Mann ’06
Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

Marianne Mariano ’94 Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender’s Office .

Marianne Mariano ’94
Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender’s Office

Dr. Teresa A. Miller Sr. Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives/Chief of Staff, State University of New York .

Dr. Teresa A. Miller
Sr. Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives/Chief of Staff, State University of New York

Hon. Erin M. Peradotto ’84 Justice, NYS Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 4th Department .

Hon. Erin M. Peradotto ’84
Justice, NYS Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 4th Department

Barry C. Scheck Professor of Law, Co-Director, Innocence Project, Cardozo Law School .

Barry C. Scheck
Professor of Law, Co-Director, Innocence Project, Cardozo Law School

Dennis C. Vacco ’78 Partner, Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, LLP .

Dennis C. Vacco ’78
Partner, Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, LLP

Christopher M. Viapiano Partner, Sullivan Cromwell LLP .

Christopher M. Viapiano
Partner, Sullivan Cromwell LLP

Hon. Richard Wesley Judge, US Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit .

Hon. Richard Wesley
Judge, US Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit

Staff

Anthony P. O’Rourke Joseph W. Belluck & Laura L. Aswad Professor of Law; Director, Advocacy Institute University at Buffalo School of Law .

Anthony P. O’Rourke
Joseph W. Belluck & Laura L. Aswad Professor of Law;
Director, Advocacy Institute
University at Buffalo School of Law

Dawn M. Skopinski Associate Director Advocacy Institute, University at Buffalo School of Law .

Dawn M. Skopinski
Associate Director, Advocacy Institute, University at Buffalo  School of Law