About the Position

Dean of the School of Law

The University at Buffalo (UB) invites inquiries, nominations and applications for the position of dean of the School of Law.  A member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), UB is the largest and most comprehensive public research university in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The UB School of Law is SUNY’s only law school and has a long tradition of innovation in scholarship, teaching and clinical education and a strong commitment to interdisciplinary study and public service.

The dean of the School of Law will be a member of the university’s senior leadership team, working with the president, provost and other deans and senior leaders to advance the university’s mission of excellence in teaching, research and engagement. As the chief academic and administrative officer of the school, the dean reports to the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and is responsible for providing overall leadership to promote academic excellence and advance the school’s national and international prominence in research, education and engagement.

The UB School of Law has a long tradition of groundbreaking scholarship and innovative education.  UB is committed to expanding the impact of our School of Law and seeks a dean who is a legal scholar, innovative entrepreneur and accomplished leader with a strong commitment to legal education for the 21st century. The ideal candidate will be an individual of integrity, a champion for student learning and achievement, an advocate for the school and the university, a creative problem solver and an engaged partner in building and enhancing relationships with the school’s many constituencies and the larger community.

The dean should have leadership experience in a distinguished academic or comparable setting and the capacity to formulate and articulate a compelling vision for the law school, persuade a wide range of audiences of its value and engage others in its implementation. He or she will have distinguished academic credentials in the field of law, including a record of scholarly accomplishment and excellence in teaching and service appropriate to appointment as a full professor at a major research university. Distinguished members of the bench and the bar who embrace the law school’s commitment to scholarship of the highest level are also encouraged to apply.

In addition, candidates should demonstrate significant capacity and a clear idea for progress in the following areas:

  • ensuring that programs are in place to nurture students and enhance their opportunities for success
  • devoting substantial effort to development activities in order to generate additional resources for the school
  • taking steps necessary to improve the School of Law’s standing in national rankings
  • working with faculty, staff and university administration to define, articulate and implement a shared vision and specific strategies and roles for the school within the university’s strategic plan, UB 2020
  • maintaining the highest standards of quality; working with faculty under established guidelines to preserve the integrity and clarity of the tenure and promotion processes
  • providing sound financial, structural and human resources management for the school
  • building upon the school’s strong relationships with alumni, the legal profession, community members, state and local government and other external constituencies
  • serving as an enthusiastic and effective advocate for the school and university to internal and external constituencies and widely promoting the accomplishments of faculty, students and programs

Applications and nominations should be submitted as indicated at the end of this profile.

Opportunities and Challenges

Law schools around the nation confront a challenging environment. As the legal profession is adapting to the 21st century, and with the high cost of a JD, law schools have experienced declining applications and enrollment combined with increasing pressure to train students in more practical skills while still preparing them to think critically and understand the broader context in which law is applied.

While UB School of Law also has experienced enrollment declines, its eclectic and interdisciplinary faculty, comprehensive and flexible curriculum, emphasis on experiential and practical learning, strong placement record, affordable tuition and housing and strong support from the university and alumni provide it with a solid foundation for continued success. We seek a dynamic and creative leader who can leverage our strengths to enhance UB School of Law’s position as a leader in legal education and scholarship.

In response to these national challenges, UB School of Law has developed a number of educational initiatives to enhance its course and degree offerings and to serve students earlier in their education. In particular, the law school has recently added a two-year JD for foreign-trained lawyers and is in the process of obtaining approvals to offer two new LLM programs alongside two existing ones. Recent initiatives for current law students include expanding clinics and experiential learning opportunities and enhancing clerkship placement. Further, the School of Law is diversifying its portfolio by offering courses for UB’s innovative new undergraduate general education program, the UB Curriculum, and has recently voted to create a new undergraduate minor and major in law. The new dean will support these ongoing efforts and lead the faculty in developing and implementing additional strategies that build on the School of Law’s strengths.

The successful dean will address the following Opportunities and Challenges that are central to the school’s future success:

Develop innovative strategies for increasing enrollment while maintaining student quality

The dean should have a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing law schools at public universities around the nation. This leader must be creative, flexible and willing to meet challenges with optimism and new ideas. In particular, he or she should work with faculty to develop distinctive academic programs and develop strategies for responsibly increasing enrollment while ensuring student quality.

Foster faculty excellence and recognition in scholarship, teaching and service

The dean must provide collaborative and inspiring leadership to support and develop members of the law faculty in their teaching, research and service roles. He or she will seek ways to use the School of Law and university resources to recruit and retain faculty and support faculty activities and development. 

Foster a diverse and inclusive community

Diversity, inclusion and respect are core values of the University at Buffalo and the School of Law. The new dean must demonstrate ideas for, as well as a record of success in, recruiting, supporting, mentoring and retaining faculty, staff and students from diverse cultures, backgrounds and perspectives.

Develop and implement innovative academic programs aligned with school strengths and student interests and needs

The dean will develop procedures for evaluating academic programs and ensuring that they are aligned with institutional missions and goals. He or she will lead initiatives to develop a distinctive program of legal education for the 21st century. This includes developing interdisciplinary programs with other units on campus, launching innovative programs that may expand beyond existing academic structures and participating in university-wide educational programs such as the UB Curriculum, Communities of Excellence and initiatives to increase opportunities for experiential learning and international experiences.

Encourage and support interdisciplinary connections across schools and university-wide

While the dean’s central responsibility is the success of the School of Law, he or she is also a leader in the UB community at large. The dean will support UB’s cross-disciplinary research and educational programs, encourage faculty participation in these programs and seek to develop new opportunities for partnerships across disciplines. The School of Law faculty members are integral partners in a variety of innovative campus-wide and multi-school research, education and service initiatives. 

Enhance the school’s engagement with local, national and global communities

The faculty, staff and students of UB School of Law participate in a variety of partnerships and activities that have a positive impact on the Buffalo-Niagara region and around the world. The dean will be a visible representative of the school, enhancing engagement with the vibrant Buffalo legal community and with local, national and international organizations and government partners to strengthen the school’s and the university’s vital role in Buffalo’s economic resurgence. The dean will encourage and support scholarly research, educational programs and engagement activities that make a difference beyond the campus.

Advance alumni relations and philanthropic support

The dean will serve as a leader and active champion for alumni engagement and advancement efforts for the school. Now more than ever, universities engage alumni and friends as strategic partners. UB School of Law benefits from an especially active and loyal community of more than 11,000 alumni who advance the school’s efforts in recruitment, community engagement, research, career services and placement, and philanthropy.

UB’s law alumni provide crucial financial resources for student support, endowed chairs and professorships, and curricular and facility enhancements. The school has just concluded a successful seven-year, $30 million fundraising campaign. The dean will be expected to build on this base of generous support by serving as a visible and engaged leader of the school’s advancement efforts.

School of Law


Founded in 1887, UB School of Law is the only law school in the SUNY system and the fourth oldest law school in New York State. Drawing on a long tradition of leadership and excellence, UB School of Law features innovative scholarship, teaching and clinical programs and an emphasis on interdisciplinary studies and public service. The school encourages and fosters research and learning in pursuit of justice and aims to advance its standing as a national and statewide leader in legal education; further its reputation as a thought leader in the study of law; promote faculty and student engagement regionally, nationally and internationally; and prepare tomorrow’s civic and business leaders.

Recognized for academic innovation, UB School of Law has long been a source of cutting-edge scholarship and educational leadership in a range of areas, including law and society, legal history, environmental law, critical race theory, gender and law, labor law and policy, critical legal theory, family and welfare policy, criminal justice, international human rights, state and local government and transactional practice. UB School of Law also stands out for its emphasis on public service and public policy, producing leaders and engaging challenges in the local community as well as the world.

The school takes pride in, and is recognized for, high-quality programs that prepare students from a wide range of backgrounds for fulfilling careers. The 51 tenured, tenure-track and legal research and writing faculty members, together with a deep pool of distinguished adjunct professors, offer the school’s approximately 450 students a comprehensive curriculum that features seven subject matter concentrations, month-long “bridge” courses that hone practical legal skills, groundbreaking clinical programs that involve transactional practice and policymaking in addition to litigation, and comprehensive legal skills and professionalism programs.

Located in the center of UB’s North Campus, the School of Law is housed in O’Brian Hall, which is connected by pedestrian bridges to UB’s main research library, most of UB’s social science departments and the School of Management. O’Brian Hall features the Charles B. Sears Law Library and the Francis M. Letro Courtroom, a working courtroom that provides students with an opportunity to watch judges and lawyers in action.

The majority of UB faculty and professional staff are part of a collective bargaining unit, the United University Professions (UUP), which is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers.


UB’s dynamic School of Law faculty is one of the most interdisciplinary and innovative in the country. Approximately 50 percent of tenured, tenure-track and legal research and writing faculty members hold advanced degrees in other fields, representing a substantial commitment to innovative legal and interdisciplinary scholarship.

Faculty members have served as president of the Law and Society Association and the American Board of Forensic Psychology, vice president of the American Society of International Law, Executive Vice-President of the Society of International Economic Law and in many other professional offices. The faculty of the School of Law also includes editors or founders of several peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journals. The law faculty is consistently productive. Since 2009, faculty have published approximately 30 books — many with prestigious academic presses such as Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton and Stanford — and more than 350 articles, book chapters and reviews. Since 2009, they have lectured on legal topics, presented their research or participated in panels discussing their own or others’ research on more than 500 occasions. In 2014, for example, two faculty members were chosen for the Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum.

Members of the law faculty have received numerous honors that recognize the strength and impact of their scholarship, teaching and service. The law faculty currently has five members who have been promoted to the SUNY Distinguished rank — the highest academic rank in the state university system. In addition, 11 faculty members have been appointed to named professorships or scholar positions. Current law faculty members have earned fellowships or grants from foundations and organizations such as the American Council of Learned Societies, The Rockefeller Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the American Bar Foundation, the Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation. In addition, the faculty includes a fellow of the American Psychological Association and members of the National Academy of Social Insurance and the Council on Foreign Relations.  

The current faculty's professional achievements include, among many others, litigating major Supreme Court cases; drafting foreign constitutions; founding and heading organizations and institutes that further human rights around the world; advising foreign governments on international trade and penal code revision; testifying before Congress, state legislatures and international organizations; arbitrating labor disputes; and serving as expert witnesses in prominent cases. The university’s annual progress report, The List, offers a glimpse of some of the many accomplishments and recognitions of the law faculty in 2014-2015.

The law faculty's intellectual and professional leadership is also reflected in its culture of innovative teaching.  Students are likely to be challenged not only by lectures and Socratic instruction but also collaborative projects, field observations, small group exercises, writing assignments and multimedia presentations. In addition to the school's unusually strong clinical and interdisciplinary course offerings, faculty members have designed a wide range of approaches to teaching standard legal subjects and skills. 

The faculty of the School of Law has a long and illustrious history of being at the cutting edge of legal education and scholarship and is recognized for interdisciplinary and critical approaches to legal institutions. Following its founding in 1887, the School of Law attracted such eminent faculty members as constitutional theorist Christopher Tiedeman and civil rights activist and novelist Albion Tourgée.  In the 1930s, the school hired its first full-time faculty members, including legal historian Mark De Wolfe Howe, sociologist David Riesman, administrative law expert Louis Jaffe and tax scholar Ernest Brown. In the 1950s, the school was home to such notable scholars as Clyde Summers and Ronald Coase, winner of a Nobel Prize in Economics.

In 1962, the University of Buffalo, until then a private institution, became part of the SUNY system, and the law faculty and student population increased dramatically. Over the next two decades the School of Law attracted numerous interdisciplinary innovators, including law and society scholars Marc Galanter and Richard Schwartz, legal economist George Priest, law and race scholars Judy Scales-Trent and Muhammad Kenyatta, international human rights expert Virginia Leary and critical scholars Robert Gordon, W. Haywood Burns and Alan Freeman. UB School of Law’s Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy became an internationally known center for socio-legal studies, and UB developed an enduring reputation in the fields of labor law and policy and legal history.  

Research Centers and Programs

The University at Buffalo is actively implementing a long-range strategic vision — known as UB 2020 —focused on pursuing sustained research and educational excellence, achieving greater efficiency across campus operations and expanding the university’s engagement and impact locally, nationally and globally. One key element of UB 2020 has been to promote and support collaborative, cross-disciplinary research dedicated to addressing the most critical issues, ideas and challenges of our time.

Recently, UB launched Communities of Excellence — multidisciplinary scholarly communities that address large-scale societal challenges through research, education and engagement. Through the Communities, UB is investing in cross-disciplinary areas of research where the university is strong and can have great impact regionally and globally. The Communities of Excellence, which are integrated with the traditional departmental structure, provide a framework for faculty to leverage institutional resources, facilities and research infrastructure. UB’s Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water (RENEW) Institute, the model for the Communities, was launched in 2014. In the spring of 2015, UB established three additional Communities of Excellence: Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART); Genome, Environment and Microbiome (GEM); and the Community for Global Health Equity (CGHE). Law faculty participate in RENEW, GEM and CGHE. The School of Law should be a partner in future proposals for Communities of Excellence and in other university-wide strategic initiatives. More information about UB’s research centers, institutes and support can be found here.

In addition, UB School of Law hosts numerous interdisciplinary research centers and programs, including:

  • Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy: Established in 1978 and jointly hosted by the School of Law and the College of Arts and Sciences, the Baldy Center is an endowed, internationally recognized institute that advances interdisciplinary research on law, legal institutions and social policy. More than 200 faculty members from numerous departments participate in Baldy Center research, conferences, consortia and publications. The center maintains cooperative ties to other research institutions and hosts distinguished scholars from around the world as visitors, fellows, speakers and conference participants.
  • Buffalo Criminal Law Center (BCLC): The BCLC was launched in 1996 to stimulate research on criminal justice policy, reinvigorate the study of criminal law in the United States and position UB School of Law as a leader in criminal law. The center sponsors an innovative colloquium series and conferences, hosts visiting scholars and promotes dialogue and research to bridge the gap between the common- and civil-law approaches to criminal law.
  • Buffalo Human Rights Center: This center is the focal point for human rights scholarship, activism and education at UB. It fosters scholarship and instruction in human rights by organizing speakers, conferences and symposia with leading human rights thinkers and practitioners and by facilitating student internships with human rights organizations.
  • Center for the Study of Business Transactions: A joint venture of the School of Law and the School of Management, this center sponsors a variety of courses, research opportunities and distinguished speakers focused on transactional practice.
  • ClassCrits: Launched in 2007 and organized by professors at UB School of Law and Berkeley, ClassCrits is an international network of scholars and activists interested in critical, interdisciplinary and international analyses of law and economic relations.
  • Cross-Border Legal Studies Center: Taking advantage of Buffalo’s location on the Canadian border and working closely with law alumni, this center encourages and supports research, curricular initiatives, practice-oriented learning opportunities and public presentations on cross-border legal topics.
  • Jaeckle Center for Law, Democracy, and Governance: The Jaeckle Center focuses on issues of political practice and governmental structure, with a special emphasis on questions of public participation, power distribution, democratic responsiveness and decentralization. The center’s projects range widely from data collection to advising and consulting to direct representation of clients in appropriate cases.  

Students and Enrollment

UB School of Law enrolls a diverse group of students from the United States and around the world. In recent years, the school has enrolled between 450 and 600 students, compared to more than 750 students before 2008.

UB School of Law is nationally recognized for providing students with a high-quality education at an affordable price. In 2015, U.S. News & World Report identified UB School of Law graduates as having an average debt load that was in the lowest 12 percent among law schools nationwide. The same study revealed that UB Law graduates had the lowest average student debt among law schools in New York state and the second lowest among law schools in the Northeast. The School of Law’s full-time tuition for in-state residents is $27,979 a year (including fees), which is roughly half of the standard cost of comparable private law schools. In addition, UB School of Law is recognized by the organization On Being a Black Lawyer as a “Top 5 (Eastern) Regional Law School for Black Students.”


UB School of Law provides a comprehensive and flexible curriculum that prepares students for the ethical practice of law. The curriculum gives students a broad range of options, including doctrinal and theoretical courses, experiential learning, practical coursework and special programs. A rigorous, three-semester Legal Analysis, Writing and Research program provides a foundation for professional skills. Small seminars, independent study and intensive research supervision deepen students’ understanding of law and sharpen their writing skills. The school’s curriculum stresses the study of law in its social context, and a large number of interdisciplinary courses and programs support this emphasis. A strong clinical education program is closely tied to the core curriculum and enhances the curricular concentrations, which are discussed below.

Instruction is offered over two semesters, from early September to May, along with a January bridge term. The law school also offers a summer session from mid-May to mid-July.  UB’s law curriculum permits faculty to structure courses outside the traditional semester framework, which allows for intensive or extended study in innovative formats. All students benefit from the focus on learning in small groups with a personalized approach and flexible curriculum. Seminars and law journals provide ample opportunities for student writing and publication. 

Degrees and Concentrations

In addition to the three-year JD degree, UB School of Law currently offers an accelerated JD program that allows students to complete their degree in two and a half years, and an advanced standing two-year JD. UB also offers several dual degrees, including: JD/MBA, JD/MSW, JD/PhD, JD/PharmD, JD/MUP, JD/MLS and JD/MS in applied economics. The school offers two LLM degrees, one in criminal law and the other in general legal studies, and has developed two new LLM degree programs in cross-border legal studies and environmental law that are currently under review by SUNY and the New York State Education Department.

The School of Law offers seven optional concentrations or curricular programs for three-year JD students in areas of institutional and faculty strength: criminal law, cross-border legal studies, family law, intellectual property and privacy law, international law, environmental law, and finance and development. These programs enhance the upper-level curriculum and provide students with a richer understanding of legal practice by allowing them to acquire in-depth knowledge of a particular practice area and apply that knowledge to complex legal problems and transactions like those actually confronted by lawyers.  

Clinical, Practica and Experiential Learning Programs

UB law students are heavily involved in the community, providing valuable service while participating in rewarding research and experiential learning opportunities.

UB School of Law’s clinics offer diverse and sophisticated practice opportunities to upper-division JD and LLM students who work closely with skilled supervising attorneys. Rather than focusing on routine legal services, these clinical offerings involve cutting-edge issues and complex matters in which creativity and innovation play key roles in effectively serving clients. In the clinics, students and faculty engage in practical legal thinking and ethical practice through client representation, policy development and effective problem-solving in experiential settings. By working with skilled faculty, students experience lawyers’ unique and critical role as valued contributors to the legal profession and larger society. UB’s fall 2016 clinical legal education courses are:

  • Animal Law Pro Bono: This clinic focuses on national, state and local policy addressing animal welfare issues such as puppy mills, feral and community cats, and retired racehorses.
  • Civil Liberties and Transparency: Students engage in a broad range of litigation and other advocacy to defend individual rights and enforce the public’s right of access to information on issues involving national security, veterans, law enforcement, technology and privacy, and public health.
  • Community Justice: This clinic represents low-income residents of Buffalo on issues relating to workers’ rights, consumer justice, immigration, civil rights and government benefits.
  • Environmental Advocacy: This clinic focuses on state, national and international environmental policy issues. Student attorneys coordinate directly with a binational task force and perform legal research on Canadian and U.S. law.
  • Family Violence and Women’s Rights: Students gain a holistic understanding of the laws and courts that govern family violence practice in New York state and Erie County.
  • Health Justice: This clinic provides legal services that support better health and quality of life for low-income people facing cancer.
  • Law and Social Work: students in the School of Law’s dual degree program in law and social work gain experience in legal service agencies, social service agencies, prosecutor offices or therapeutic courts, such as drug and domestic violence courts.

Practicum courses combine the study of a substantive area under a full-time professor with service learning alongside practicing lawyers. These four-credit courses involve 120 hours of field work assisting and observing practicing attorneys in combination with weekly classroom work exploring the substantive law in depth and reflecting on the process of becoming an attorney. UB’s practicum courses include Criminal Law, Post-Incarceration Federal Reentry and Pro Se Civil Litigation Support.

Because of UB’s robust clinical programs and practica, as well as other engagement and experiential learning programs such as externships and pro-bono scholars, UB School of Law students make a tremendous impact on the community. In 2013, for example, law students engaged in nearly 30,000 hours of service.

Travel Programs

UB’s New York City Program on Finance & Law provides School of Law and School of Management students the opportunity to live and study in New York City for a semester. The program takes full advantage of New York City’s prominence as a global financial center and includes site visits, briefings and interaction with UB alumni and other high-level professionals in a variety of fields.

In addition, UB School of Law offers a variety of study abroad opportunities during the year. Courses based in France, Morocco, Israel, New Zealand and Thailand have been offered in recent years.

Advocacy Institute

The Advocacy Institute gives law students the opportunity to develop and practice their advocacy skills with guidance from distinguished members of the local bench and bar. Launched in 2014 and funded by the School of Law, UB and private donors, the institute gives students opportunities to develop their skills in the critical task of advocating for clients via real-world experience in trial and appellate advocacy. The institute covers three major areas: the teaching of trial advocacy skills; the School of Law’s expanding participation in regional, national and international moot court competitions; and training in the burgeoning field of alternative dispute resolution. 

Student Activities

UB School of Law has seven journals, six of which are student-edited. The Buffalo Law Review is recognized as an outlet for pathbreaking interdisciplinary scholarship and was recently ranked 49th among general student-edited law journals by Washington and Lee Law Library.

The School of Law has some 30 other student groups, including moot court boards that run three national competitions: the Buffalo-Niagara Mock Trial Competition (one of the largest in the nation), the Herbert Wechsler National Criminal Moot Court Competition and the Albert R. Mugel National Tax Moot Court Competition, as well as the intramural Charles S. Desmond Moot Court Competition. UB law students also participate and excel in many other national, international and regional moot court, mock trial and mediation competitions. The school is currently exploring expanding the moot court and trial advocacy opportunities offered to its students.

Contributing to a school strength in public interest work, the Buffalo Public Interest Law Program works with UB School of Law administration and private funding sources to support and place about 20 students a year in public interest summer externships. Recent placements included St. Andrew’s Refugee Services in Cairo, Egypt, the Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, TransAfrica Forum, the West Coast Prison Justice Society, The Trevor Project and Buffalo-based Journey’s End Refugee Services.

The Student Bar Association is the law students’ governing body, providing funding and oversight for law student organizations and working with UB School of Law administration and faculty on issues of common interest.

Career Services and Placement

UB law students benefit from an excellent career guidance program. The Career Services Office (CSO) is dedicated to providing students and alumni the assistance, encouragement and support necessary to discover and pursue paths toward career development and advancement. From their first semester, CSO provides students with personalized guidance and support, professional development programs, employment tools and job postings. CSO also has a strong public interest focus to assist students seeking legal-services or government employment.

UB School of Law graduates find employment at rates that exceed the national average. The great majority of UB’s graduates are employed or pursuing advanced degrees within nine months of graduation. UB School of Law’s employment rate in 2013 was 82 percent, which ranked fourth out of the 15 law schools in New York state— behind only Columbia, NYU and Cornell. The class of 2014 had even better results, placing at a rate of more than 89 percent (77 percent requiring bar passage), which was second in New York state, behind only Cornell. Also notable, UB’s law graduates are employed in public interest and government organizations at a rate of two to three times the national average. UB School of Law’s employment rate in 2015 was 87 percent and saw the quality of jobs for graduates increasing, with more jobs being full-time or requiring a JD/bar admission. Additionally, UB School of Law graduates are well-represented in industries that seek graduates with a law degree but not necessarily bar admission for a business or other professional role.

Alumni and Advancement

UB School of Law enjoys an active and loyal community of more than 11,000 alumni that includes 250 members of the judiciary, 87.5 percent of Erie County attorneys, more than 70 law firm managing partners, 17 senior leaders of major academic institutions, more than 25 corporate CEOs and presidents, and more than 1,500 members of cultural, academic, nonprofit and advisory boards. UB’s generous law alumni provide crucial financial resources for student support, endowed chairs and professorships and curricular and facility enhancements. Alumni offer a comprehensive mentoring program for students, and they frequently serve as guest speakers, moot court judges and adjunct faculty.

Three associations keep graduates involved in the school: the Law Alumni Association, the Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) Group — which focuses on the needs of new alumni as they bridge the gap from graduate to attorney — and a Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC). The DAC is composed of more than 35 leaders of the profession who advise the dean on matters such as curriculum, development, alumni relations, governmental relations, public service and administration for the school. 

Law Library

The Charles B. Sears Law Library occupies six floors in the center of O'Brian Hall. The law library’s collection of more than 600,000 volumes and microform equivalents, plus a wide array of online resources in law and related disciplines, is augmented by convenient access to the university's four million-volume research collection and interlibrary loan network. The law library's tenured and tenure-track reference librarians provide research support for law faculty and offer reference assistance to law students. The library's instructional technology resources include a computer classroom, 33 networked computer workstations and a high-speed wireless network, as well as extensive audiovisual curricular support. The Koren Center for Clinical Legal Education provides comprehensive audiovisual and classroom technology services to UB School of Law and also makes available a rich collection of audio- and videotapes, which are in high demand for both course review and curriculum enrichment.  

The law library houses a number of special collections, including the Morris L. Cohen Rare Book Collection, with more than 1,000 volumes featuring 17th- through 19th-century English and American legal sources. Other special collections include the Watergate Collection, with notebooks and investigative files of the Counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and several collections focusing on Native Americans and indigenous peoples around the world.  

UB Overview

Impactful research, scholarly distinction, transformative student experiences and far-reaching service to local, state, national and international communities define UB’s mission as a premier research-intensive public university. UB was founded in 1846 as a private medical college located in downtown Buffalo and joined SUNY in 1962. SUNY is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, comprising 64 campuses with a total enrollment of approximately 463,000 students; UB is the largest and most comprehensive public research university within the SUNY system. In 1989, UB was among the first public universities in the Northeast to be admitted into the Association of American Universities (AAU), joining North America’s other leading research universities.

UB enrolls close to 30,000 students (approximately two-thirds undergraduate and one-third graduate and professional students), and offers nearly 400 degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, professional and doctoral levels across its 12 decanal units. UB is a global community of scholars, consistently ranking among the nation’s top 20 universities for the enrollment of international students. The university enjoys a strong international presence, maintaining affiliation agreements with more than 80 universities in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa. UB’s approximately 240,000 alumni live in more than 145 nations worldwide.

UB has a distinguished faculty of approximately 1,600 full-time members and almost 750 part‑time members. With more than 150 research centers and institutes, UB’s current annual research expenditures, including affiliated institutions, exceed $382 million. The libraries hold four million volumes in eight libraries and provide access to 100,000 full-text e‑journals and 800,000 e-books.

UB’s academic programs and facilities are located on three distinct campuses in the Buffalo metropolitan area. UB’s North Campus, located in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst, is the university’s main undergraduate campus and home to the School of Law and the university’s primary athletics and cultural facilities. Three miles to the south, on the northern edge of the City of Buffalo, is the university’s historic South Campus, which serves as the primary health sciences campus. UB also has a rapidly developing third campus center in downtown Buffalo. The focal point of UB’s downtown presence is the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, on which UB’s new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences facility is being constructed in proximity to the university’s health and life science partners (anticipated completion date of 2017).

Recognizing the key role that a vibrant 21st-century physical campus environment plays in enhancing education, research and learning, and as part of the UB 2020 vision, UB is implementing a long-range plan for enhancing its North, South and Downtown campus spaces and connecting them more effectively to their surrounding communities. The centerpiece of this plan is The Heart of the Campus project, the first phase of which was completed in fall 2016 and focused on creating a 21st-century library experience in the undergraduate library. The Heart of the Campus is designed to build a sense of place at the center of the North Campus, enhance coordination of student support services, offer new opportunities for collaboration outside the classroom and enhance the student learning experience.

With annual revenues that exceed $1.2 billion from all sources, UB and its affiliated entities generate an estimated economic impact of $2.18 billion annually in New York state. The university’s total workforce of almost 6,800 full-time equivalent employees makes it one of the region’s largest employers. UB is also a leader and an active partner with the more than 20 public and private colleges and universities in the Buffalo-Niagara region. 

UB leadership

President Satish K. Tripathi

Internationally recognized as an accomplished researcher and transformative higher education leader, Dr. Satish K. Tripathi was appointed the 15th president of the University at Buffalo on April 18, 2011.

Dr. Tripathi, who served as UB’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs from 2004-2011, was one of the principal creators of the UB 2020 strategic plan to achieve academic excellence and has led the university to achieve significant growth in research and scholarly activity, enhanced student quality and diversity, and an expanded international presence. Building on this strong foundation, Dr. Tripathi’s vision for UB’s future focuses on moving the university into the highest ranks of the nation’s research universities through expanding its reach and impact locally and globally.

The first international-born president in UB’s history, Dr. Tripathi served as dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside, prior to coming to UB. Previously, he was a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, where his 19-year tenure as a faculty member included serving as chair from 1988-95. A fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he was awarded the honorary doctorate of sciences from the prestigious Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad.

An active leader in the national higher education community, Dr. Tripathi is a member of the Mid‑American Conference Council of Presidents Executive Committee and serves on the boards of directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Among his numerous community leadership roles, Dr. Tripathi serves on the boards of directors of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Great Lakes Health, and was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as co-chair of the Regional Economic Development Council for Western New York. 

Provost Charles F. Zukoski

An internationally renowned scholar in chemical engineering who is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was named one of the “Hundred Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era” by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Charles F. Zukoski was appointed provost and executive vice president for academic affairs on June 1, 2012. As the university’s second-ranking officer, the provost is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the university’s academic vision captured in UB 2020. Since 2012, Provost Zukoski has actively engaged the campus in a vigorous conversation about the future of higher education, how to make UB more competitive in a changing world, how to prepare graduates to be active and responsible global leaders and how UB can have a larger and more significant local and global impact.

Provost Zukoski joined UB from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he served as vice chancellor for research and Elio Eliakim Tarika Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College and a PhD in chemical engineering from Princeton University. 

Buffalo Niagara

As a world-renowned research university, UB is playing a vital role in Buffalo’s resurgence as a thriving city that is a magnet for talented professionals, artists, entrepreneurs and innovators who recognize the tremendous energy and momentum gathering here. Home to one of the nation’s fastest-growing populations of college graduates, the Buffalo-Niagara region, with 1.1 million residents, is the state’s second largest major metropolitan area, exceeded only by New York City. The region includes a diverse blend of communities, each with its own personality yet commonly characterized by a distinctly neighborly way of life, an unpretentious nature and spirited loyalty among residents. Buffalo’s own strong sense of community, easy lifestyle and affordability regularly place it in top 10 lists from a variety of national publications for its overall quality of life.

Buffalo offers an impressive array of cultural and recreational opportunities uncommon for a region of its size. Buffalo’s rich cultural resources reflect its distinguished history and commitment to sustaining the arts, exemplified by the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; the world-class collection of modern painting and sculpture at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; an extensive array of historic architectural treasures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan and Eero and Eliel Saarinen; and an expansive park system, including Delaware Park, considered to be the very best work of designer Frederick Law Olmsted. The city is home to the state’s largest concentration of theaters outside of New York City. Buffalo is a family-friendly, livable and affordable city, with Niagara Falls, one of the major tourist attractions of the world, a short drive away. Buffalo is close to two significant wine-growing regions — Niagara Escarpment and the Finger Lakes region. In addition, the Adirondack Mountains are less than a half-day’s drive from Buffalo.

Rich in natural resources and beauty, the Buffalo-Niagara area is a four-season region that offers the best for seasonal sports enthusiasts. University at Buffalo fans enjoy a full complement of NCAA Division I sports with the UB Bulls, as well as the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Triple-A Baseball’s Buffalo Bisons and the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits.

Less than a two-hour drive from Buffalo, across the United States-Canada border, is Toronto, the cultural, entertainment and financial capital of Canada. Buffalo is also ideally located for easy access to many of America’s greatest cities. The Buffalo Niagara International Airport offers direct flights to more than 20 cities, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, D.C., all only an hour’s flight time away.

Buffalo’s resurgence is making national headlines, and UB is playing a central role in the creation of a strong, sustainable knowledge economy and thriving entrepreneurial culture that are driving this revitalization. Exemplified and driven by the centrally located Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and UB’s new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences facility, Buffalo is experiencing a period of tremendous progress and momentum as well as unprecedented regional investments in the industries of the future and the assets that ensure a satisfying quality of life for all of its citizens.

The university and the School of Law are vital participants in Buffalo’s economic resurgence and vibrant legal community, and the dean will be a visible representative of the school and the university. Within the local business community, UB has well-established ties with major partners such as Praxair, Lockheed Martin, Moog and Greatbatch, and is also making a mark in the areas of health sciences, advanced manufacturing, materials informatics, life sciences and clean energy as exemplified by the critical research and development activities undertaken in the New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics and the new Department of Materials Design and Innovation. The dean will encourage and support faculty, student and staff research along with other educational and engagement activities that make an impact in Buffalo and around the world.

Nomination and Application Procedures

Additional information about UB School of Law can be found at the school’s website or at the search website.

Nominations and applications are now being accepted. Interested individuals should provide a curriculum vitae and an optional letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position. All nominations and applications should be sent electronically via email (Microsoft Word or PDF attachments strongly preferred) to:

Dr. Ilene Nagel

Head, Higher Education Practice

Russell Reynolds Associates


All materials and inquiries will be held in strict confidence until the final stages of the search, at which time the express permission of the finalists will be obtained before making their candidacy public. References will not be contacted without the prior knowledge and approval of the candidate.

Compensation for this position is highly competitive. It is anticipated that the dean will begin service before the start of the 2017-18 academic year. Review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until a dean of the School of Law is appointed.

The University at Buffalo is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic university community committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. Potential applicants who share this goal, including veterans and individuals with disabilities, are encouraged to apply.