woman inside a media room, wearing white blazer, smiling.

U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross ’92 to address graduates at Commencement Ceremony

A longtime federal prosecutor who now serves as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York will deliver the keynote address as the University of Buffalo School of Law celebrates its 135th Commencement ceremony on May 19.

Trini E. Ross, a 1992 UB Law graduate, pursued a widely varied legal career before President Biden nominated her as U.S. Attorney in 2021. She was a litigator in private practice, an appellate court attorney for state Supreme Court, worked in the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility, led investigations in the National Science Foundation’s Office of Inspector General, and held the position of assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District. In that role, she served as senior litigation counsel, as chief of the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Section and as deputy chief of the White Collar and General Crimes Section.

That breadth of experience will inform her address at the Commencement ceremony, set to begin at 1 p.m. in the Center for the Arts, on UB’s North Campus.

Watch a livestream of the Commencement Ceremony.

man wearing tie.

William M. Murray
Ken Joyce Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient

“I am excited to be a part of this special day with the graduates, a day they worked so hard to achieve,” Ross says. “As they close this important chapter of their journey, I will emphasize the need for them to take a moment to remember all the work and many accomplishments it took to get to this day, and how there are many more successes and accomplishments in their future.”

As U.S. Attorney, Ross directs the prosecution of all federal criminal cases in the 17 counties of Western New York, represents the United States in all civil matters in the district and directs the collection of all fines and penalties for the district. She is the first black woman to hold the position in the Western District of New York. 

A graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia, she holds a master’s degree from Rutgers University and has also served as a longtime adjunct instructor at UB School of Law.

During the Commencement ceremony, the Ken Joyce Excellence in Teaching Award, designated for “a member of the adjunct faculty for excellent teaching and longstanding service to the School of Law,” will be given to William M. Murray, senior counsel at the Cheryl Stein Law Firm and an attorney specializing in land use and zoning law, environmental law, community planning and development, and non-profit management.

Murray has taught at the law school for more than two decades, as well as in UB’s School of Architecture and Planning. His courses have included Land Use Planning, Planning & Development Law, and Legal Issues in Planning and Development.

woman smiling.

Kelly Tripi ‘24
Student Speaker

This year’s student speaker, Kelly Tripi, has made the most of her law school experience with extensive extracurricular involvement. Tripi has represented UB Law in five trial team competitions, and was named Best Oralist in this year’s Charles S. Desmond Moot Court Competition. In addition, she has served community clients through the school’s Family Violence and Women’s Rights Clinic. Tripi will practice at the Law Offices of William Mattar after graduation.

Interim Dean S. Todd Brown will also speak, and Michael Hecker ’09, president of the UB Law Alumni Association, will welcome the new graduates to the profession.