U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to visit Buffalo

photo of Justice Ginsburg.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Photo: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Release Date May 2, 2019

SUNY Chancellor to present Justice Ginsburg with Honorary Doctoral Degree in Law at UB ceremony

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States will visit Buffalo on August 26.

“Justice Ginsburg’s strong voice supporting gender equality, an independent judiciary, separation of church and state, and human rights deeply resonates with our mission as a law school.”
Aviva Abramovsky, Dean
School of Law, University at Buffalo

Justice Ginsburg will be hosted by the University at Buffalo School of Law, the Bar Association of Erie County, the Western New York Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, and the Minority Bar Association of Western New York.  She will spend part of the day speaking and teaching students at the UB School of Law and will be the special guest at an evening program at Kleinhans Music Hall for members and guests of the legal community.

Justice Ginsburg was invited to Buffalo last year by Buffalo attorney Wayne D. Wisbaum, who passed away in December. Wisbaum knew the justice during their college years at Cornell University and maintained a long-term friendship with her. Her visit to Buffalo is dedicated in his memory.

During a ceremony at UB, SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson will present Justice Ginsburg with an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Law awarded by the State University of New York and approved by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

“Justice Ginsburg’s strong voice supporting gender equality, an independent judiciary, separation of church and state, and human rights deeply resonates with our mission as a law school,” said Aviva Abramovsky, dean of the UB School of Law.

“She is a powerful symbol of the most fundamental values of our nation and our legal system,” said Marianne Mariano, president of the Bar Association of Erie County. “We are thrilled and delighted to welcome her to Buffalo.”

Justice Ginsburg grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, during the Depression. She attended James Madison High School, and studied at Cornell University where she graduated at the top of her class. She went on to Harvard Law School and then Columbia Law School, graduating in 1959-- once again, first in her class.

Even so, because she was a woman, not a single New York City law firm would give her a job. She later became the first woman to be a tenured professor at Columbia Law School.

During the 1970s, she argued a number of women’s rights cases at the Supreme Court at a time when female lawyers before the court were rare. Appointed by President Bill Clinton, she became a Supreme Court justice in 1993, the second female justice, after Sandra Day O’Connor.

She is now joined by two other New York women on the court: Sonia Sotomayor from the Bronx and Elena Kagan from Manhattan.

Event and ticket information for the evening program at Kleinhans Music Hall will be announced at a later date.

Since its founding in 1887, the University at Buffalo School of Law – the State University of New York system’s only law school – has established an excellent reputation and is widely regarded as a leader in legal education. Counted among of the nation's premier public law schools, its cutting-edge curriculum provides both a strong theoretical foundation and the practical tools graduates need to succeed in a competitive global marketplace, wherever they choose to practice. A special emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, public service and opportunities for hands-on clinical education prepare UB alumni to balance the scales of justice throughout the world.

A not-for-profit professional association, the Bar Association of Erie County was founded in 1887 to advance the administration of justice through programs and services for the legal profession and the public.

The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) is the largest statewide bar association dedicated to the advancement of women in both the legal profession and society as a whole. The Western New York Chapter was established 30 years ago.

The Minority Bar Association of Western New York was founded in 1970 to protect the civil rights of all people; to promote diversity in all areas of the legal community; and to enhance the legal services available to minority communities. 

Additional details are not yet available. Watch for more news to be announced in the next few weeks.