Distinguished Alumni Award: School of Law

Honorable John J. Ark, JD ’72.

Honorable John J. Ark, JD ’72 

Ark is a New York State Supreme Court justice in the Seventh Judicial District in Rochester, N.Y. During his time as supervising judge of the Seventh Judicial District’s toxic tort part, he oversaw the disposition of hundreds of asbestos and lead paint cases. He also served on the New York State Commission on Drugs and Courts, which became the foundation for New York State’s drug and other specialized courts. Ark was a Brighton, N.Y. town justice and an assistant Monroe County district attorney. While a law student, he was managing editor of the Buffalo Law Review, which fostered his enthusiasm for legal writing, noting that “it became essential to effective adjudication.” He was a law instructor at various institutions and active in board and advisory work. A recipient of the UB Law Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award, he praised the school’s emphasis on community service, noting that many alumni have been recognized for their service-related activities. Ark received his undergraduate degree from Bucknell University and an MBA from Syracuse University.