BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Two well-known names in the Buffalo legal
community will find a permanent home in the University at Buffalo
Law School when the school's Cellino and Barnes Conference Center
is dedicated on May 26.
The naming of the Law School's fifth-floor conference center
honors Ross M. Cellino Jr. '82 and Stephen E. Barnes '83. Their $1
million gift in 2009, one of the largest cash gifts UB Law has
received, is being invested in student scholarships, teaching
technologies and improved student services.
The conference center, one of the most elegant and widely used
facilities in John Lord O'Brian Hall, hosts a wide variety of
academic and legal conferences, seminars and continuing legal
education courses. The May 26 dedication ceremony, which begins at
5:30 p.m., will feature remarks by, among others, Law School Dean
Makau W. Mutua and the honorees.
The UB Council, in its conference center naming proclamation,
described Cellino and Barnes, shareholders in the Buffalo-based law
firm Cellino & Barnes, P.C., as "highly accomplished,
successful, civic-minded attorneys who have been good friends and
dedicated alumni of UB Law School."
Ross Cellino is serving a three-year term as a UB Law School
Alumni Association director and actively participates in the
school's mentoring program. Steve Barnes, a former Marine Corps
officer and Gulf War veteran, serves regularly as a judge for moot
court competitions and for the oral arguments program for
"We made this gift because we are impressed with Dean Mutua and
his vision for the school. It's easy to be loyal to UB Law because
it was good to us," the partners said.
"The dean has a real vision for the school and the wherewithal
to make it happen," says Barnes. "The thing that drove our final
decision was his vision to propel UB Law School into a different
Said Dean Mutua, who has set a goal of placing UB Law among the
top 50 law schools in the nation: "This amazing act of philanthropy
by Ross and Steve reflects a belief by two successful alumni that
the Law School is headed in the right direction. It provides a
wonderful resource to help us accomplish our vision of academic
excellence and our bold aspirations for the future."
The Cellino & Barnes firm, with 36 attorneys in six offices
across New York State, has obtained over $1 billion in settlements
and verdicts for clients and their families. The firm has been
selected by U.S. News and World Report to the first tier of Best
Law Firms in the United States for personal injury and
The firm is also well-known for its philanthropy. It has
contributed over $600,000 in scholarships to deserving college
students and has donated hundreds of thousands of additional
dollars to more than 50 other charities.
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
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.