There’s no wisdom like hard-earned wisdom, and the Dean’s Advisory Council puts that truth to work helping to prepare UB School of Law and its students for the legal profession of the future.
As its name suggests, the DAC advises Dean Aviva Abramovsky on a wide range of policies and plans for the law school. These include guidance on curriculum, development, alumni relations, governmental relations, diversity initiatives, public service, and administrative matters. The council meets formally twice a year, but members make themselves available for informal consultations as needed.
“Our DAC members are critical to the success of the law school,” says Dean Abramovsky. “They have a direct view of what’s most relevant to our profession. Their knowledge and experience helps to inform our decisions on how to best prepare our students for practice and how to enhance the legal education that we provide.”
Eight new members joined the Dean’s Advisory Council this year, bringing to the table their wide-ranging experience in practice, business, and the judiciary. All are UB Law alumni, and here they offer their thoughts on this important role.
Marc A. Alpert ’86 is senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Loews Corp. in New York City. He joined Loews, which has businesses in insurance, energy, hospitality and packaging, in 2016 after 30 years in practice with an international law firm.
“I have always very much valued my Buffalo Law education, and view DAC service as a way to repay my debt to the school. I viewed the DAC as a way to reach out to current students. I also view UB as New York State’s public law school—and as a lifelong resident of New York City, I hope to add geographic diversity.”
Brian J. Bocketti ’98 is a partner with the Buffalo law firm Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP, where he co-leads the Banking and Financial Transactions Practice Team. He concentrates his practice in acquisitions, senior finance, private equity and corporate counsel matters.
“I was very excited to be asked to assist the Dean’s Advisory Council. I truly believe the law school is an engine for change in our region and that its students and alumni really can and do change lives. I know the significant impact the law school has had on my life, and assisting the law school, along with my fellow DAC members, to do its great work is a wonderful opportunity.”
Hon. Betty Calvo-Torres ’98 is a Buffalo City Court judge and an acting Niagara County Court judge. She presides over the Mental Health, Drug and Veterans Treatment courts. She was the first Hispanic woman to be named to the Buffalo City Court bench.
“I joined the DAC because I have already seen how the dean’s work has positively impacted the law school. I wholeheartedly believe in and am committed to supporting her work. I am especially honored to support the first female dean of the law school. I look forward to helping create closer ties between the school, the legal community and the community at large. I also hope to assist with increasing diversity within the student body and staff.”
Anne E. Joynt ’05 is a junior partner with the Buffalo law firm Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford LLC. She represents clients affected by childhood lead poisoning, and also has experience in cases involving asbestos exposure, motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice and defective products.
“I had the opportunity to serve on the DAC in my capacity as president of the UB Law Alumni Association last year. I was immediately struck by the incredible breadth of experience and perspectives from the DAC members. I have been lucky to be involved with the law school since I graduated, first as a member of the GOLD Group and then while serving on the UB Law Alumni Association. I am so excited to continue my contact with the law school and law students, and I hope to add my experience and my perspective to the group.”
At the Capital Group in Chicago, one of the world’s largest investment managers, Tracey M. Rinaldi ’06 serves as an assistant vice president and relationship specialist. She has expertise in asset management, mutual funds, trading, investment management and hedge funds.
“I am so excited about becoming a member of the DAC, and it is truly a highlight of 2021 for me and my family. I look forward to networking with UB alums and helping to improve the overall appeal of UB Law. I have gained so much from the law school and am hoping to pass that on to future generations. I really enjoy the camaraderie of working with the dean and other alums, and most importantly working to help our alma mater grow. I know that my membership can be impactful and add value to Buffalo and for students across the nation and globe.”
Also new to DAC this year is Daniel A. Sikka ’07, managing counsel for global labor and employment at the McDonald’s Corp. Sikka works out of the company’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill. He has been with McDonald’s since 2010.
Additionally, two alumni will serve one-year terms on the Dean’s Advisory Council as representatives of the law school’s alumni organizations. They are Jeffrey C. Stravino ’97, a partner in the Buffalo law firm Hodgson Russ LLP and president of the UB Law Alumni Association; and Sarah Washington ’16, a senior attorney with National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. in Buffalo and president of the UB Law GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Group.