Dean and Professor of Law, University at Buffalo School of Law
Years in current role: Nearly 4
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I most enjoy being part of the UB law legacy, which is rooted in a commitment to public service and social justice. As a dean and professor of law, I have the immense privilege of introducing students to the method by which our society organizes itself — the rule of law — and helping them develop into the next generation of talented, capable, and very much needed advocates.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
It is impossible to ignore the greatest public health challenge of our time. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each of us personally and professionally and continues to be difficult. I am grateful for our law school community that remains strong and supportive as we navigate this crisis together.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the legal industry in the next 3-5 years?
We’ve seen significant technological changes adopted in response to the public health pandemic that are here to stay. The court system, private law offices, and the legal industry, in general, will be synthesizing these changes and adapting them, as needed, for many years. The rapid reliance on technology that we have witnessed over the past year has prioritized the acquisition of computer skills along with the other skills already needed to succeed as an attorney.
What advice would you give law students who are graduating this year?
I am very proud of our students who have persevered despite so many unforeseen obstacles. They have lived through no ordinary time and have experienced overwhelming external challenges. They know what it means to feel frustrated and powerless. I want them to remember that feeling and allow it to fuel their commitment to the pursuit of justice. I encourage them to dedicate their careers to perfecting our system of law and the rules of our democratic society and become the advocate that so many need.
What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?
I’m eager to see increased activity on campus as soon as it is safe to do so. I’m also looking forward to attending live theater. Streaming services are great, but they cannot replicate the energy of an unedited, live performance.