The Innovators

Historically, the path to a legal career was pretty straightforward: Go to law school, set up shop, practice law. Small firm, big firm, corporate, government, non-profit – the settings varied, but newly minted lawyers had a pathway firmly in sight.

All those options remain in place, and across the board, bright lawyers are reinventing how legal work is done in those traditional settings. UB School of Law graduates are no exception, working in dynamic ways whether at their own boutique firm or a multinational corporation.

But our alumni are taking the possibilities even further. They are running biotech startups, counseling clients and practitioners on digital marketing and their social media reach, connecting heavy hitters in business. Some of them are rethinking the whole paradigm that connects lawyers and clients.

Check out these 10 UB School of Law alumni who are bringing their innovative spirit to their life’s work – and changing the world along the way.

  • Stephanie Adams '99
    “One of my goals is to make sure law and legal services are seen as enhancements to creativity and not a burden or an unnecessary impediment. I listen to creative clients and hear what atmosphere they need to prosper, and then work to create that atmosphere.”
  • Raad Ahmed '13
    “I’ve been obsessed with the idea of democratizing legal services and using technology to improve access for people. ... If you can disseminate information and make law and legal services easily digestible for people, you can really change people’s lives.”
  • Jennifer Beckage '07
    "We all rely on some software or hardware on an hourly basis these days. ... You’ve got to be able to be a sponge and take it all in – not just reacting to immediate needs but asking, what are your clients going to need five or 10 years from now?”
  • Adrian Dayton '08
    "I’m committed to pushing this industry so that through innovation people can work smarter and know that their work is supported by data."
  • Minara El-Rahman '08
    “As a digital marketing professional, you have to stay sharp on your skills in order to grow your career. It’s not unusual to move around, especially if it means growing your skill set – and my skill set has definitely increased because of all the different roles I’ve had.”
  • Craig Hannah '95
    "For non-violent offenders or people who are in the throes of addiction, I think it’s incumbent on us to give those people the tools they need to succeed.”
  • Vikki Pryor '78
    "We're helping individuals successfully complete their education, transition to the workplace and manage their careers. We want our Scholars to bring their values, skills, care, concern and compassion for people to whatever they do, wherever they are.”
  • Jonathan Smyth '15
    "One of the strengths of being an attorney is that you’re trained to present information from a variety of different sources – I need to be able to take all these sources of technical information and distill them into a crystallized argument.”
  • Jordan Walbesser '10
    “For me, what’s interesting is that the technology far outpaces the law, and it requires flexibility and forethought and risk tolerance. You’re trying to draft something or create a deal today that’s going to hold up in the future."
  • Nate Yohannes '12
    "I'm constantly looking at IP law and debating, how are we going to handle third-party IP, what is our strategy for going to market, how are we going to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?"