UB Law Alumni Association to honor six with Distinguished Awards

Five alumni leaders and one non-alumna will be recognized for their contributions to the legal profession and the legal community when the UB Law Alumni Association confers its Distinguished Alumni Awards at its annual dinner on May 7.

The 58th annual dinner, which also honors a non-alumna, will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo.

To attend, please register online. For more details, contact 716-645-2107 or law-alumni@buffalo.edu.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award honorees include:

May 7, 2020

Time: Cocktail Reception at 5:30 p.m.; Dinner & Awards Presentation at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Hyatt Regency Buffalo, 2 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo, NY.

To Attend: Register online.

Hon. John J. Ark ’72.

For the JudiciaryHon. John J. Ark ’72, justice of the New York State Supreme Court,  Seventh Judicial District, in Rochester, N.Y.  where he presides over all of the Court’s toxic torts cases. During his time on the bench, Ark served as supervising judge of the Seventh Judicial District’s matrimonial part where he oversaw the disposition of nearly 10,000 divorce cases. Prior to his election to supreme court, he was a solo practitioner. He also served as a town justice in Brighton, N.Y. for approximately 14 years, and as an assistant district attorney for Monroe County. While a law student, he was the managing editor of the Buffalo Law Review.

John J. Flynn ’95.

For Public Service: John J. Flynn ’95, Erie County District Attorney. Flynn has dedicated his career to public service including several years in the U.S. Navy as an officer and as a litigation attorney assigned to the Navy’s Office of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) in Washington, D.C.  He has also served as an assistant district attorney for Erie County, an acting Buffalo City Court judge, and in several public roles for the Town of Tonawanda, N.Y. including town justice, town attorney, and as a member of the Tonawanda Town Board.

Paula M. Ciprich ’85.

For Business: Paula M. Ciprich ’85, senior vice president and general counsel at National Fuel Gas Company in Williamsville, N.Y. Ciprich is responsible for audit services, human resources, payroll, corporate legal, risk management and security. Over the course of her career at National Fuel, she has managed multiple departments and business functions including quality assurance, investor relations and government relations. From 2008 to 2018, she served as secretary of the company. She has been listed annually by Buffalo Business First among the “Top 125 Most Powerful Women in Western New York.”

Laurence K. Rubin ’77.

For Community ServiceLaurence K. Rubin ’77, partner at the Buffalo law firm Kavinoky Cook LLP, practices in the areas of public and private development, real property law, and municipal law. Committed to community outreach, he has provided pro bono legal services to the Concordia Cemetery Foundation, Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission, Michigan Street African Heritage Corridor Commission, Theatre of Youth, and the Colored Musicians Club. He has also served in leadership roles for Temple Beth Zion, Jewish Family Services of Buffalo and Erie County, the Buffalo Jewish Federation, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo, and PUSH Buffalo. 

David R. Pfalzgraf, Jr. ’97.

For Private Practice: David R. Pfalzgraf, Jr. ’97, managing partner of the Buffalo-based law firm Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham LLC. Founded in 2000 by Pfalzgraf and two of his colleagues, the firm now has over 40 attorneys in five offices located across New York State. Pfalzgraf leads the firm’s business law practice group, working primarily with private business enterprises ranging from closely-held family businesses to multi-national corporations. He has been recognized by Buffalo Business First and the Buffalo Law Journal as a member of the “Legal Elite of Western New York” from 2013 through 2019.

Hon. Shirley Troutman.

For Outstanding Service to the University and the Community by a Non-Alumnus/aHon. Shirley Troutman, associate justice, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department. Appointed by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, Troutman is the co-chair of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, responsible for developing programs to improve the perception of fairness within the court system and to help ensure equal justice in New York State. Prior to beginning her judicial career in 2002, she served as an assistant district attorney for Erie County, an assistant attorney general for the State of New York, and an assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York.