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.

Federal Judges, Assistant Secretary of Defense and Leading Academics Speak at BU Law

Boston University School of Law has a deep commitment not only to excellence in law teaching, but also to the highest standards of legal research and scholarship. That’s why we’ve invited a number of scholars, judges, and policymakers to visit the law tower and speak on a variety of timely legal topics.Our most recent events included a symposium on the Affordable Care Act, panels examining the Euro Crisis, and a dynamic discussion on the causes and cures of government gridlock:

How Alumni Can Be Our Students’ Competitive Advantage in the Job Market

Our Office of Career Development & Public Service, now headed by Assistant Dean Fiona Trevelyan Hornblower, as well as our faculty and administrative staff strive continually to offer more resources and create more opportunities that will prepare our students for their future careers. For our students to be successful in today’s competitive legal market, they also need the assistance of the BU Law alumni network. There are more than 23,000 of you practicing in all 50 states and a number of international locations! Read More »

How to Help Residents of Philippines Affected by Typhoon Haiyan

In the wake of the devastating typhoon that recently struck the Philippines, the BU Law community sends its deepest sympathies to all of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff who have loved ones living in that country and to all of our alumni who are currently residing in the Philippines. We in Boston share your grief for the thousands of lives that have been lost during this terrible disaster.

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Photo credit: Reuters / Romeo Ranoco via FT.com

For those of you who would like to help the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, there are a number of international organizations that have mobilized to provide assistance to the residents of the Philippines, including the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, with whom BU Law has had a long-standing relationship.

While we can’t always predict when or where a disaster of this magnitude is going to strike, we can always extend our support and sympathy to those who have been affected by it. On behalf of the BU Law community, we send our thoughts and prayers to all the residents of the Philippines and to their friends and family members.

Toasting Our New Building and Celebrating Our Community at BU Law

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all our alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends who came to the celebration of the new Sumner M. Redstone Building and Alumni Weekend events. Over 250 people came to our Redstone Building Celebration, and we packed the Four Seasons Hotel for our Annual Reunion Dinner Gala and Silver Shingle Awards presentation.

It was a packed house at the Redstone Building Celebration!

These events only amplified how proud I am of the ongoing transformation of our school, and I hope you are as excited as I am. The enthusiasm we saw from our alumni and friends at the celebration and the enthusiasm we see from our students on campus really speak to our theme of “Thinking Forward”. We focus on integrating rigorous academics with hands-on learning opportunities that best prepare our students for the rapidly changing legal field. The new Redstone Building is going to provide the physical facility that we have long needed to enhance our students’ learning experience and sense of community. Read More »