Honoring BU Law’s New York Alumni and Welcoming Our Admitted Students

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to visit the headquarters of Viacom, a company founded by our lead building donor, Sumner M. Redstone, and led in part by General Counsel Michael Fricklas, a class of 1984 alum of BU Law. Viacom hosted a reception to honor three of our most distinguished alums and to welcome admitted students to BU Law.

It was wonderful to see our alumni engaging with admitted students and welcoming them to the BU Law community. We were also happy to have our Assistant Dean of Admissions, Alissa Leonard, our Assistant Dean for Career Development & Public Service, Fiona Hornblower, and Professor Khiara Bridges on hand to answer questions and represent the best law professors in the country!

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Glenn Lau-Kee (’74), Michael Fricklas (’84), Dean Maureen O’Rourke, Betsy Plevan (’70) and Seymour James (’74) at the BU Law reception in New York City

At BU Law, we take tremendous pride in providing our students with the best in legal education and preparing them for today’s competitive legal market – and our alumni are living proof of this. We were thrilled to have our New York alumni with us as living proof of the careers made possible by their hard work and BU Law education.

I was also delighted to honor three prominent alums who have made leadership contributions to the bar associations of New York. All three honorees are pioneers in the law community and we are proud to call them our alumni:

Betsy Plevan (’70), a partner in the Labor and Employment Department at Proskauer Rose, has established herself as one of the country’s top attorneys in employment law.  She is a true trailblazer and an inspiration for women in the law. Betsy was the third woman to hold the office of President of the New York City Bar Association, and the first to serve as a member of the firm’s seven-person Executive Committee.

Seymour James (’74) is the Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Practice division at the Legal Aid Society of New York. Seymour was the third African-American President of the New York State Bar Association, and in that position advocated for criminal discovery reform and the importance of addressing human trafficking in NY.  At the Legal Aid Society, Seymour litigated the major case of Earley v. Murray, which declared the New York Department of Corrections’ post-release supervision policy unconstitutional.

Glenn Lau-KeDSC_6988e (’74) is the current president-elect of the state bar. When his term begins in June, he will be the first Asian-American to hold this position. As a partner at Kee & Lau-Kee, a firm founded by his father in 1956, Glenn has been a strong advocate for greater involvement by the Asian American community in the New York bar.

It was wonderful to show our admitted students the diversity of the BU Law alumni base:  Our honorees came from diverse backgrounds and diverse practice settings.  What united them was their BU Law education.

As we move forward, we must never forget that diversity was a founding value of Boston University, and it is one of the great strengths of our country.  It would be a great help to us if all of our alumni would encourage outstanding diverse candidates to law school to apply to BU Law to honor our heritage and to make us an even stronger school as we move deeper into the 21st century.

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