How can we design more equitable cities? What does justice mean in today’s society? How do we ensure that diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of decision-making? At UB, we strive to address these (and other) essential questions, instill core values in our students, and create more just communities here in Buffalo—and far beyond.
As civil rights leader and icon, Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
After the murder of George Floyd spurred thousands of Americans into the streets, renewed calls for equality and accountability extended far beyond the law into private corporations’ hiring practices, representation in board rooms across the country, and honest, introspective conversations about bias and discrimination.
At the University at Buffalo School of Law, diversity, equity and inclusion lie at the heart of everything we do, both in how we teach the law and how we operate as a school. Our success is defined by it, and the success of our students and communities ultimately depends on it.
As the New York State’s only public law school, and the only law school in Western New York, we have a unique responsibility to serve the public. For 134 years, our mission has been to provide access to legal education and the legal profession, regardless of what students look like or where they come from. Our very foundation is rooted in accessibility and social justice, and today, this is more important than ever.
“Success for us means creating a launch pad to set people up to succeed in the ways they choose to,” says Aviva Abramovsky, Dean of the UB School Law, the first woman to hold the position. “We’re helping them follow their own aspirations, giving students the space to imagine and dream all the ways that can use their time at UB to advance society, and themselves.”
At UB, we don’t just educate students with doctrine. We teach with experience and lead by example on some of the most relevant and emotionally charged issues facing our society. The entire UB community is committed to holding ourselves accountable as we provide our students, faculty and staff meaningful opportunities to engage with the community and work toward a more fair and just society.
Over the past decade, ethnic representation among law professionals in the United States has remained relatively unchanged: 85% of American attorneys are white, and males outnumber females 2-to-1. UB is actively working to change this by recruiting students from across New York, the country and around the world, ensuring that students of all backgrounds have the opportunity to serve people of all backgrounds. The way it should be.
“Discover Law was really a turning point for me. It gave me the information I needed to get through law school–an understanding of the kind and amount of work and preparation it would take, " said Jean Pierre Nintereste, JD '16.
To increase the number of first generation college students and students of color in law school and the legal profession, the Discover Law Undergraduate Scholars Program was established in 2012, thanks to the support, initially, of the Law School Admissions Council, and of the University and our donors. Nearly 150 students have completed the program to date, and over 65% of those students are attending or planning to attend law school. During the month-long program, students take rigorous courses taught by law professors, attend field trips to see the law in action, learn about the law school admissions process, and begin building their networks and lifelong connections in the legal community, including with their attorney mentors.
At the UB School of Law, our students and graduates help real people in real need. They’re affecting real change.
Help us make that difference and fuel a brighter, more equal future for all. Take the bold next step. Volunteer or donate today.
Your investment in UB will make a difference for a cause that matters to you: whether you make a gift to the UB Fund, support a scholarship for one UB student, sustain the work of a professor who will inspire thousands, or fund a cancer cure that saves the lives of millions. Every gift counts!