Published May 14, 2015
UB Law School graduates will receive 201 JD degrees and eight LLM degrees when the only law school in the SUNY system hosts the state’s top law enforcer at its commencement ceremony on May 23.
The ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m. in the Center for the Arts, North Campus, will feature as keynote speaker Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who was elected to the office in 2010 and re-elected last year.
A former state senator, Schneiderman is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School. As attorney general, he has introduced several ambitious initiatives, including a program to protect homeowners at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure and the Community Overdose Prevention program, which equips law enforcement agencies with naloxone, a lifesaving antidote in cases of heroin overdose.
“My guiding principle is equal justice under law,” Schneiderman has said. “This is our most quintessentially American ideal. It is the underpinning of our democracy. And when there is injustice, it is my obligation as the state’s top law enforcement officer to try to remedy that injustice.”
Among the major awards to be presented at commencement, the Dean’s Medal will be awarded to Sam Magavern, co-director of the Partnership for the Public Good. Magavern — a public-interest lawyer, UB adjunct clinical professor of law and prolific writer — is a graduate of UCLA Law School.
“Sam has an unusual ability to attend simultaneously to the big picture and the small details,” says interim Dean James A. Gardner. “He has a profound commitment to justice in its broadest principles, yet seeks always to realize those principles in concrete ways in his own community.”
The Partnership for the Public Good is a broad coalition of activist groups in the city of Buffalo that seeks to build “a more just, sustainable and culturally vibrant community through action-oriented research, policy development and citizen engagement.”
Magavern teaches a course each semester at the UB Law School on issues in public policy, research and advocacy, enabling students to work on substantive issues in the Buffalo community.
In addition, the Ken Joyce Excellence in Teaching Award will be presented to Garry M. Graber, ’78, a partner with the Buffalo law firm Hodgson Russ. Graber, whose practice includes bankruptcy, corporate restructuring, creditors’ rights, financial services, commercial and corporate litigation, and general business law, also is a member of the Law School’s Dean’s Advisory Council.
As an adjunct professor at the Law School, Graber teaches courses in business bankruptcy and reorganizations.