portrait photo of Bernadette Gargano.

Bernadette Gargano

Vice Dean for Experiential Education and Social Justice Initiatives; Director of Clinical Legal Education

Links: Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

313 O'Brian Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100

Biography Publications

Bernadette Gargano received her J.D., cum laude, from Cornell Law School in 1999. After graduation, Professor Gargano served for two years as a Confidential Law Clerk to the Hon. William M. Skretny in the Western District of New York (WDNY). In practice, Professor Gargano has represented local, national, and global businesses, entrepreneurs, law firms and attorneys, and private universities. In 2019, Professor Gargano was sworn in as a mediator for the WDNY.  Professor Gargano is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, various federal courts, and all New York State courts.

During her teaching career, Professor Gargano has developed curriculum for legal methods courses on all levels, seminars, and a hybrid clinic. In 2012, Professor Gargano was awarded the Association of Legal Writing Directors’ Teaching Grant for developing an innovative advanced course, which combined federal civil procedure, federal rules of evidence, and constitutional law. In 2016, she was awarded the same grant for her work developing the course “Contracts in Context.”  Professor Gargano was also awarded the “Faculty Award,” UB Law’s only teaching award, in 2016.  In 2018, she received the Jacob D. Hyman Award from the Student of Color Committee for her “significant contributions to promoting excellence among students of color.”

Professor Gargano was a member of the founding committee for the Federal Pro Se Assistance Program (PSAP) for the WDNY, which created an embedded clinic to provide pro bono legal services to underrepresented communities. As the attending professor for this program, she teaches a hybrid clinic, manages students who assist volunteer attorneys, serves as a liaison to the Court and community partners, and practices as an attorney who advises pro se litigants. In 2015, Professor Gargano’s course, the Pro Se Civil Litigation Practicum, won the ECBA Justice Award. In the same year, Professor Gargano was named “Lawyer of the Year” by the Women Lawyers of Western New York. In 2019, the University at Buffalo School of Law and its community partners were awarded the Robert H. Jackson Distinguished Service Award for Professor Gargano’s work with the embedded clinic.

In her service to undergraduate education at the University at Buffalo, Professor Gargano developed and taught “Lawyers as Agents of Social Change: Justice Jackson, Nuremberg, and International Humanitarian Law” as an off-campus experience. This course was the pilot for the “Extended Learning Experiences” program for the entire University. This program was housed at the Chautauqua Institution and took place in collaboration with the Robert H. Jackson Center. In conjunction with this program, Professor Gargano taught “Lawyers as Agents of Social Change: The Civil Rights Era,” a limited enrollment “Discovery Seminar.”