Six alumni leaders and one non-alumnus will be recognized for their contributions to the legal profession and the legal community when the UB Law Alumni Association confers its 2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards at its annual dinner on Thursday, May 5.
The 59th annual dinner, the Association’s first live ceremony since 2019, will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo. Registration is available at law.buffalo.edu/AlumniEvent.
This year’s honorees include innovators in the judiciary, advocates for access to justice, leaders in the world of finance, and champions for diversity and inclusion.
Thursday, May 5 , 2022
5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (EDT)
Hyatt Regency Buffalo, 2 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo, NY (view directions)
For the Judiciary: Hon. Michael M. Mohun ’80 is a New York State (Acting) Supreme Court Justice, 8th Judicial District, and a Wyoming County Multi-Court Judge in Warsaw, N.Y. He has presided over the Wyoming County Treatment Court since 2014, a re-entry initiative that assists defendants who require treatment or help with drug addictions or other issues. Under his leadership, the Court assists defendants in securing housing and employment and has expanded educational opportunities and medication-assisted therapy programs for county jail inmates. Previously, Judge Mohun served as Town Justice for the Town of Bennington, and as Acting Justice for the Villages of Perry and Warsaw. He is a past chairman of the Attorney Grievance Committee for the 8th Judicial District. He is currently president of the NYS County Court Judge's Association and a member of the NYS Bar Association House of Delegates. He worked in private practice before joining the bench.
For Public Service: David C. Schopp ’82, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc. and Karen Andolina Scott ’09, Executive Director of Journey’s End Refugee Services, Inc. in Buffalo, will be jointly honored.
Schopp has served as head of the Legal Aid Bureau since 2000, whose mission is to provide quality legal representation and assistance to the most vulnerable individuals, children and families in the Western New York community. He first joined Legal Aid in 1985. In 1987, he left to practice with Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, returning to the Bureau in 1989 as a staff attorney in the appeals unit. He was appointed supervisor of the law guardian unit in 1999, before assuming the role of executive director. Schopp served on the board of directors for the New York State Defenders Association from 2000 to 2013, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2000. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the Chief Defenders Association of New York, a group of advocates focused on bringing positive change to the criminal justice system, where he served as president from 2019 to 2020.
Scott has served as Executive Director of Journey’s End since 2015, a community-based agency that assists refugees with becoming independent, contributing members of the Western New York Community. At Journey’s End, Scott advocates each year for as many as 500 refugees who have been forced to leave their home to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. From 2013 to 2015, she served as managing attorney of the agency’s Immigration Legal Services program supporting more than 200 clients on an annual basis with immigration matters including naturalization, applications for permanent residency, travel documents and family reunification. Scott joined Journey’s End after practicing immigration law for several years.
For Private Practice: Sachin Kohli ’06, is a partner in the New York City office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where he represents public and private companies, as well as private equity funds, in connection with acquisitions and divestitures, and provides counsel on general corporate matters including reporting requirements, corporate governance issues, defensive measures and other strategic considerations. He has advised companies in multi-billion-dollar mergers and acquisitions including Dow Chemical, Kinder Morgan, DIRECTV, MGM Resorts, Fidelity National Financial and Sanofi, among others. He has been recognized as a “Rising Star” for M& A in the U.S. by IFLR1000 and as a “Rising Star” for M&A by Law360. He has also been named an “Emerging Leader” by the M&A Advisor, and previously served on the corporations law committee of the New York City Bar.
For Community Service: Jodyann Galvin ’98, is a partner in the Buffalo office of Hodgson Russ LLP, where she concentrates her practice on complex business disputes, including class actions, and financial services and intellectual property litigation. She has also led the firm’s professional development and diversity and inclusion efforts. A leader in the community, Galvin is on the executive committee for the board of directors for Buffalo Prep and Habitat for Humanity Buffalo. She volunteers with Habitat Buffalo’s Women Build program, St. Luke's Mission of Mercy, Canisius High School’s mock trial team, and the Western District of New York’s Pro Se Assistance Program. She and her sons have coordinated a Halloween costume drive for Response to Love for the past eight years. Since 2012, Galvin has been involved with the law school’s Discover Law Undergraduate Scholars Program, serving as a mentor for underrepresented minority and first-generation college students and leading efforts to recruit other mentors.
For Business: Robert J. Gutowski ’99, has served as general counsel for MSCI Inc. since 2020, a global financial services firm listed on the New York Stock Exchange and headquartered in New York City, where he is responsible for the legal, compliance, regulatory affairs and internal audit functions at MSCI worldwide. Previously, Gutowski was MSCI’s Deputy General Counsel and Head of Compliance from 2010 to 2019, and Head of Internal Audit from 2012 to 2019. Prior to joining MSCI, Gutowski was an executive director in the legal division of Morgan Stanley and practiced corporate law in the New York City offices of Rogers & Wells LLP and Clifford Chance LLP. He is a former chair of the New York City chapter of the UB Law Alumni Association and regularly shares his experience in the world of finance by supervising student externs and mentoring students in the law school’s New York City Program in Finance and Law.
For Outstanding Service to the University and the Community by a Non-Alumnus/a: Hon. David Edmunds, Jr., now retired, most recently served as a Buffalo City Court Judge. Throughout his legal career, Edmunds has also served as Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Liquor Authority; Chief Counsel for the Attorney Grievance Committees for New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department and Deputy Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge of the Buffalo regional office for the New York State Department of Law. Edmunds was a partner at Damon and Morey LLP and special counsel at Phillips Lytle LLP.
Edmunds is the first African American elected president of the Bar Association of Erie County. He is a past president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York and the first recipient of their Trailblazer Award. He is a past president of the Minority Bar Foundation and recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership and sustained commitment to the advancement of minority representation in the legal profession and his dedication to public service. He has also served as a vice-president and executive board member of the New York State Bar Association.