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Thomas E. Black '79 to receive UB Law School's highest honor

By Ilene Fleischmann

Release Date: January 7, 2011

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Texas attorney Thomas Black will receive the UB Law School's highest honor, the Edwin F. Jaeckle Award, on Jan. 28.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A University at Buffalo Law School alumnus with roots in Western New York and a deep involvement in the school's continuing improvement will be honored in January with the Law School's most prestigious award.

Thomas E. Black Jr. '79, founder and managing partner of the Texas law firm Black, Mann & Graham, LLP, will receive the 2011 Edwin F. Jaeckle Award on Jan. 28. The award, the highest honor the Law School and Law Alumni Association can bestow, will be presented at the New York City Alumni Luncheon at the Union League Club, 38 E. 37th St. (corner of Park Avenue), in Manhattan. Named for Edwin F. Jaeckle '15, the award is given annually to an individual who has distinguished himself or herself and has made significant contributions to the Law School and to the legal profession.

Previous recipients have included Hon. Charles S. Desmond, Hon. Matthew J. Jasen, Manly Fleischmann, Jacob D. Hyman, Hon. M. Dolores Denman and William R. Greiner.

Black, the son of a third-generation steelworker and a native of South Buffalo and West Seneca, and his wife, Bridget, who grew up in the Town of Tonawanda, now live in Texas, where his law firm has offices in Dallas, Flower Mound and Houston. The firm, with over 130 employees, concentrates its practice in mortgage servicing. It is the largest document preparation law firm in Texas, where preparing a mortgage loan document requires an attorney. The firm represents major mortgage companies and banks, preparing their mortgage loan documentation and counseling them on regulatory compliance issues.

"Tom Black has set the highest standard in both his legal work in business and in his invaluable contributions to UB Law School," said UB Law Dean Makau W. Mutua. "His leadership on the Dean's Advisory Council has been of immeasurable value as we continue to work to become a Top 50 law school. I can think of no more fitting honoree for this year's Jaeckle Award."

The honoree has long been a strong advocate for the Law School. He has served on the Dean's Advisory Council since 2002, and as council chairman since 2007. He also currently co-chairs the UB Law Campaign Steering Committee.

The Blacks' support for UB Law has been financial as well, and their $1 million gift this year will establish a named professorship at the school. "Endowed chairs and professorships allow us to bring in people who might not otherwise consider UB Law," Black said. "Guys like me, who have been given a great education and a very affordable education, need to step up to the plate and support that."

Reservations for the New York City Alumni Luncheon can be made through the Law Alumni Office at 716-645-2107 or online at http://www.law.buffalo.edu/AlumniEvents.asp.

Since its founding in 1887, the University at Buffalo Law School -- 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. Its cutting-edge curriculum provides both a strong theoretical foundation and the practical tools graduates need to succeed in a competitive marketplace, wherever they choose to practice. A special emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, public service and opportunities for hands-on clinical education makes UB Law unique among the nation's premier public law schools.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.