About the Position

Dean of the School of Law

The University at Buffalo (UB) invites inquiries, nominations and applications for the position of dean of the School of Law.  A member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), a flagship and the largest and most comprehensive public research university in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, UB is an internationally renowned center for academic excellence. As the only law school in the SUNY system and among the strongest public law schools in the nation, the UB School of Law has a long tradition of innovation in scholarship, teaching and clinical education, and is a world-class center for interdisciplinary studies.

The dean of the School of Law is a member of the university’s senior leadership team, working with the president, provost, deans and other senior leaders to advance the university’s mission of excellence in teaching, research, and engagement. As the chief academic and administrative officer of the School of Law, the dean reports to the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and is responsible for providing overall leadership to the school to promote academic excellence, foster an inclusive environment, and advance its national and international prominence in research, education, and engagement activities.

UB seeks an accomplished, recognized scholar, educator, and leader with a deep commitment to advancing legal scholarship, education and engagement. The ideal candidate will be an individual of integrity, an intellectual driver, a champion for student learning and achievement, an advocate for the school and UB, a facilitator of interdisciplinary work within the school and across the university, an energetic and engaged partner in building and enhancing relationships with the school’s many constituents and larger community, and a skilled administrator.

The dean should have leadership experience in a distinguished academic or comparable setting and the capacity to formulate and articulate a compelling vision for the School of Law, with the ability to persuade a wide range of audiences of its value and engage others in its implementation. They will have distinguished academic or professional credentials in the field of law, including a record of scholarly accomplishment and excellence in teaching and service appropriate to appointment as a full professor at a major research university. Distinguished members of the bench and the bar who embrace the law school’s commitment to scholarship of the highest level also are encouraged to apply.

In addition, candidates should demonstrate significant capacity and a clear idea for driving progress in the following areas:

  • Leading faculty and staff in defining and articulating a vision, direction, and priorities to further distinguish the school; enhance its prominence among the nation’s top law schools; and identify a path for its ongoing and long-term success
  • Recruiting, motivating and retaining talented and diverse faculty, including through securing and appointing faculty to named chair/professor positions
  • Fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive community within the school
  • Promoting, enabling and recognizing impactful faculty scholarship and accomplishments
  • Providing leadership and oversight for all classroom, experiential and international educational activities and academic support programs, enhancing opportunities for student success at UB, on the bar exam, and in future careers
  • Promoting increased prestigious faculty and student fellowships, awards and honors
  • Maintaining the highest standards of quality through ensuring the integrity and clarity of the tenure and promotion processes
  • Providing resourceful and sound financial, structural and human resources management for the school
  • Advocating for the school and university and widely promoting the accomplishments of faculty, students and programs
  • Building upon the school’s strong relationships with alumni, the legal profession, community members, state and local government and other external constituencies
  • Devoting substantial effort to philanthropic activities in support of the mission of the university and school

Applications and nominations should be submitted as indicated at the end of this profile.

Opportunities and Challenges

UB seeks an accomplished scholar, educator and visionary leader with a broad understanding of the distinctive issues currently faced by law schools around the nation (especially in respect to public research universities) and the ability to meet these opportunities and challenges with new ideas and optimism. The successful dean will be prepared to address the following opportunities and challenges that are central to the school’s future success:

Recruit and retain world-class faculty and foster their success in scholarship, education, and service

As one of the nation’s leading law schools, and the only law school in the SUNY system, the UB School of Law is a key contributor to UB’s Top 25 aspiration. The dean will work to advance the school’s national reputation and strength in alignment with UB’s institutional goals. This includes promoting a culture of excellence related to academic productivity, actively pursuing new external and internal partnerships in support of School of Law research, and working with faculty to identify additional opportunities. In addition, the dean will enhance the impact of faculty work by encouraging faculty to seek prestigious grants, fellowships, awards and honors, and developing strategies to support and increase national and international recognition. At the same time, the dean will continue to build out and improve school infrastructure and strategically invest relevant resources to promote faculty productivity and success.

The dean is responsible for the recruitment, appointment, promotion and tenure of an outstanding, diverse and productive faculty in the school. The dean will seek creative ways to maximize school, university and SUNY resources to recruit and retain faculty and support faculty activities and development. This includes resources through UB’s Advancing Top 25: Faculty Hiring initiative to grow our faculty base and amplify our impact on the world.

As an academic and administrative leader, the dean must provide visionary, collaborative, and inspiring leadership in the ongoing support and development of all faculty members in their roles of teaching, research, and service. The dean will invest in promising new faculty, enable the promotion and advancement of faculty, ensure the integrity and clarity of tenure and promotion processes, and provide incentives and encouragement to retain the distinguished scholars who are already within the school. 

Develop and implement innovative academic and academic support programs aligned with school strengths and an effective enrollment strategy

The dean provides leadership to all aspects of the school’s varied educational programs and must maintain the high caliber of those programs, while also exploring opportunities for curricular change and innovation. The dean will work with faculty to develop processes to continually evaluate academic programs to ensure that they equip students with the knowledge, skills, professionalism and networking necessary to be tomorrow’s legal professionals, scholars and leaders. The dean will also work with faculty to develop innovative and distinctive programs that are attractive to national and international student markets. This includes, but is not limited to, increasing experiential learning, interprofessional, and international opportunities; and developing interdisciplinary programs with other units on campus.

In recent years, the School of Law has focused on enhancing academic support programs to promote student retention and success while at UB and beyond. The new dean will continue enhancing these programs to ensure student success, including preparing students for success on the bar exam. 

Foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive community

The new dean must demonstrate a vision for, as well as a record of success in, recruiting, supporting, mentoring and retaining faculty, staff and students from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. Diversity, inclusion, and respect are core values of the UB and School of Law communities. UB recognizes that a diverse, equitable and inclusive community is an essential foundation for achieving academic excellence and success. UB is committed to harnessing its educational, research and engagement energies to combat racism, dismantle structural barriers to equity, and make UB a more inclusive place to live, learn and work. In 2014, UB was a pioneer within SUNY in creating a cabinet-level, university diversity officer position, the vice provost for inclusive excellence, responsible for coordinating and monitoring UB’s efforts to institutionalize a university-wide culture of equity and inclusion in collaboration with unit diversity officers representing each of the schools. Since 2020, through the President’s Advisory Council on Race (PACOR), faculty, students and staff from across the university have been involved in efforts to address critical issues relevant to curriculum; pedagogy; faculty and staff hiring, retention and advancement; the campus experience; and community engagement. Through the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the School of Law is creating an academic community comprised of a diverse group of professionals whose differences are valued as a source of strength.

One of the university’s top priorities is to improve the hiring and retention of faculty members from diverse sociocultural backgrounds, with a goal to at least double the number of faculty from underrepresented backgrounds at UB by 2025. In support of this goal, several individual schools have launched or grown faculty pipeline programs. University-wide, UB launched the Distinguished Visiting Scholars program, among the largest and most comprehensive program of its kind, and the innovative Visiting Future Faculty (VITAL) program, which brings late-stage PhD scholars from historically underrepresented groups to UB to present work and engage with the campus community.

Encourage and support interdisciplinary connections across departments, schools and the entire university

While the dean’s central responsibility is the success of the School of Law, the dean is also a leader in the UB community at large. UB is committed to using its strengths and comprehensiveness to address the world’s grand challenges through transdisciplinary research and education, detailed below. Law faculty members are integral partners in a variety of innovative campus-wide and multi-school research, education, and engagement initiatives, including joint and accelerated degrees and research initiatives. We seek a dean who will continue to support UB’s interdisciplinary research and educational programs, promote faculty participation in them, and develop new opportunities for future partnerships. This includes opportunities to build medical-legal collaborations and expand participation in UB’s nationally recognized interprofessional education program.

Enhance the school’s engagement with local, national and global communities

The faculty, staff and students of UB’s School of Law participate in a variety of partnerships and activities that have a positive impact on the Buffalo-Niagara region and around the world. The dean will be a visible representative of the school, enhancing engagement with the vibrant Buffalo legal community and with local, national and international organizations and government partners to strengthen the school’s and the university’s vital role in the community. The dean will encourage and support scholarly research, educational programs and engagement activities that make a difference beyond the campus.

Advance alumni relations and philanthropic support

The dean will serve as a leader and active champion for alumni engagement and advancement efforts for the school. Now more than ever, universities engage alumni and friends as strategic partners. The UB School of Law benefits from an especially active and loyal community of more than 11,000 alumni, who advance the school’s efforts in recruitment, community engagement, scholarship, internships and externships, adjunct teaching, career services and placement, and philanthropy. Law alumni and friends of the school serve on the Dean’s Advisory Council, which provides guidance and counsel to the dean on matters such as curriculum, development, alumni relations, governmental relations, public service, and administration for the school.  This is in addition to the School of Law’s active alumni association, which drives alumni engagement in numerous jurisdictions across the country.

UB’s law alumni provide crucial financial resources for student support, endowed chairs and professorships, and curricular and facility enhancements. As part of the Boldly Buffalo campaign and beyond, the dean will be an energetic, enthusiastic and convincing advocate with alumni and other donors to explore mutual interests, needs and opportunities, and thus broaden and deepen the school’s fundraising efforts. 

School of Law


Founded in 1887, the UB School of Law is the only law school in the SUNY system and among the oldest law schools in New York State. Drawing on a long tradition of leadership and excellence, the School of Law features innovative scholarship, teaching and clinical programs with an emphasis on interdisciplinary studies and public service. One of only a few law schools located on an international border, the school offers a myriad of cross-border research and learning opportunities. The school is accredited by the American Bar Association Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. It is currently in the process for reaccreditation, with a site visit having been conducted in October 2023.

The school encourages and fosters research and learning in pursuit of justice. The School of Law’s 2023 strategic plan identifies four strategic goals: advance its reputation through the scholarly impact of engaged faculty who are thought leaders in the study of law; provide a transformative and supportive educational experience that prepares students to uphold the highest standards of the legal profession and contribute meaningfully to the broader society; cultivate a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community that celebrates differences, encourages collaboration, and promotes the success, wellness, and sense of belonging of all members; and deepen its commitment to access to justice through nurturing a culture of service, fostering new and existing community partnerships, and pursuing positive social change.

Recognized for academic innovation, the School of Law has long been a source of cutting-edge scholarship and educational leadership in a range of areas, including law and society, legal history and anthropology, environmental and animal law, comparative law, critical legal theory and critical race theory, gender and law, family law, criminal justice, constitutional law and procedure, international human rights, administrative law, and globalization. The School of Law also stands out for its emphasis on public service and public policy, producing leaders and addressing challenges in the local community as well as the world.

The school takes pride in, and is recognized for, high-quality programs that prepare students from a wide range of backgrounds for fulfilling careers. As the State of New York’s public law school, the School of Law’s mission is to promote justice and cultivate socially responsible lawyers in all areas of practice. Law students learn to view the world with compassion, knowing that regardless of where they ultimately choose to work, they have a moral responsibility, as lawyers and leaders, to use their skills and knowledge to serve justice.

The School of Law has 84 faculty members and 42 full-time staff. The tenured, tenure-track, legal research and writing and visiting faculty members, together with a deep pool of distinguished adjunct professors, offer the school’s approximately 420 professional students a comprehensive curriculum designed to ensure that students develop the essential skills required for the modern practice of law. The JD curriculum features nine subject matter concentrations and curricular programs, “bridge” courses that hone practical legal skills during the month of January every year, and groundbreaking clinical programs, externships, and comprehensive legal skills and professionalism programs. In addition, the school launched a BA in law in 2018, the second of its kind in the nation, designed to prepare students for law-related careers, and it recently launched a JSD program to prepare students for faculty, judicial and high-level policy careers. In fall 2023, over 210 undergraduate students are enrolled in the BA in law and law combined bachelor’s degrees.    

Located in the center of UB’s North Campus, the School of Law is housed in O’Brian Hall, which is connected by pedestrian bridges to UB’s main research library, most of UB’s social science departments and the School of Management. A seven-story building of over 205,000 square feet, O’Brian Hall features upgraded classrooms, clinical spaces, administrative and faculty offices, student organization offices, a skills center, the Baldy Center, the Charles B. Sears Law Library, and the Francis M. Letro Courtroom, a working courtroom that provides students with an opportunity to watch judges and lawyers in action.

The majority of UB faculty and professional staff are part of the collective bargaining unit, the United University Professions (UUP), a member of the American Federation of Teachers.


UB’s dynamic School of Law faculty is one of the most interdisciplinary and innovative in the country. The school employs 84 faculty members, including 51 full-time faculty (28 full, 8 associate, and 15 lecturers, clinical and visiting faculty) and 33 part-time faculty. In fall 2023, women make up 43% of the school’s faculty, while 17% are from underrepresented backgrounds and 6% are international.

Many School of Law faculty members hold advanced degrees in other fields, representing a substantial commitment to innovative legal and interdisciplinary scholarship, and enabling unique perspectives on how the law operates in society. Law faculty are leaders in interdisciplinary research on law and society, applying this perspective not only to U.S. law, but to the comparative study of civil litigation, criminal law and regulation, and to the study of the international law of human rights, trade, and environmental governance. UB Law faculty are not only experienced in the explication of legal doctrine, theory, process, and institutions, but also in the application of interdisciplinary research approaches to law, including anthropological, historical, literary, philosophical, political and sociological approaches. In addition, approximately one-half of the faculty has significant experience and research engagement in international, transnational, and foreign law and institutions.

Faculty members have served in various professional roles, including as president of the Clinical Legal Education Association, vice president of the American Society of International Law, vice chair of the New York State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission for Civil Rights, and in many other professional offices. The faculty of the School of Law also includes editors or founders of numerous peer-reviewed journals. The law faculty is consistently productive, engaging in shaping legal thought and practice through their scholarship. The faculty publishes numerous books, scores of law review articles, and many other academic articles annually. Since 2018, faculty have published more than 20 books, 125 journal articles, 45 book chapters, and three edited treatises.  In addition, faculty members routinely participate in and host academic and professional conferences, and are often quoted as experts by local, national, and global media.

Members of the law faculty have received numerous honors that recognize the strength and impact of their scholarship, teaching and service. The law faculty currently has three members who have been promoted to the SUNY Distinguished rank — the highest academic rank in the state university system – and one who holds the title of UB Distinguished Professor. In addition, 11 faculty members have been appointed to named professorships or scholar positions.

Current law faculty members have held visiting faculty positions at prestigious institutions around the world. They have earned fellowships or grants from foundations and organizations that include the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, the Fulbright Program, the American Philosophical Society, the International Center for Jefferson Studies, the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, the National Institute of Military Justice, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation, to name just a few. Faculty have received prestigious awards including the Law and Society Association Harry J. Kalven, Jr. Prize, the New York African Studies Association Distinguished Africanist Award, the Dukeminier Awards Michael Cunningham Prize, and the McElroy Lecture on Law and Religion. In addition, the faculty includes members of the American Law Institute, National Academy of Social Insurance, Council on Foreign Relations, and Puerto Rican Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation.  

The current faculty's professional achievements include, among many others, litigating major Supreme Court cases; drafting foreign constitutions; promoting human rights around the world; advising foreign governments on international trade and immigration; serving as an academic evaluator for Supreme Court nominees; presenting to the United Nations and US State Department; testifying before Congress, state legislatures and international organizations; negotiating contracts for professional athletes; and serving as expert witnesses in prominent cases. For more examples of the law faculty’s myriad accomplishments and recognitions, see the school’s news webpage.

Research Centers and Programs

The UB School of Law hosts numerous interdisciplinary research centers and programs that present students an opportunity to observe multiple perspectives on the law, including:

  • Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy: Established in 1978 and jointly hosted by the School of Law and the College of Arts and Sciences, the Baldy Center is an endowed, internationally recognized institute that advances interdisciplinary research on law, legal institutions and social policy. The Baldy Center fosters and supports scholars whose work bridges disciplines and contributes to the great and growing mosaic of law and society scholarship, and it hosts distinguished scholars from around the world as speakers, visitors, and fellows.
  • Buffalo Criminal Law Center (BCLC): The BCLC provides students and scholars with a one-of-a-kind platform for in-depth study of domestic, international and comparative criminal law. The BCLC organizes important academic events, hosts visiting scholars and promotes the convergence of common law and civil law approaches to criminal justice.
  • Buffalo Human Rights Center: This center is the focal point for human rights scholarship, engagement and education at UB. It fosters scholarship and education in human rights by organizing speakers, conferences, symposia and international meetings with leading human rights thinkers and practitioners and by facilitating student internships with domestic and international human rights organizations.
  • Center for the Advancement of Sport: This center provides students with opportunities to get a foothold in the sports industry through experiential learning including externships at local and national athletic organizations. Drawing on UB’s strengths in law, education, social work, management, engineering and computer science as well as UB’s Division of Athletics, the center focuses on educational programming, collaborative research and policy initiatives.
  • ClassCrits: Launched in 2007 and organized by professors at UB’s School of Law and UC Berkeley, ClassCrits is an international network of scholars and activists interested in critical, interdisciplinary and international analyses of law and economic relations.
  • Cross-Border Legal Studies Center: Taking advantage of Buffalo’s location on the Canadian border and working closely with law alumni, this center encourages and supports research, curricular initiatives, practice-oriented learning opportunities and public presentations on cross-border legal topics.
  • Jaeckle Center for Law, Democracy, and Governance: The Jaeckle Center focuses on issues of political practice and governmental structure, with a special emphasis on questions of public participation, power distribution, democratic responsiveness and decentralization. The center’s projects range widely from data collection to advising and consulting to direct representation of clients in appropriate cases.  

The University at Buffalo’s long-range strategic vision to be recognized among the Top 25 public research universities in the nation is focused on continually pursuing academic and research excellence, and expanding the university’s engagement and impact locally, nationally and globally. A key UB effort has been to promote and support collaborative, cross-disciplinary research dedicated to addressing the most critical issues, ideas and challenges of our time. School of Law faculty members are integral partners and participants in a variety of innovative campus-wide and multi-school initiatives, including:

  • Center for Information Integrity: Rooted in the shared conviction that accurate information is required for vigorous public debate within a democracy, this center is devoted to the identification, amelioration, and combatting of dis- and mis-information that pollutes the public sphere.
  • Center for Trade, Environment and Development: Supports research on trade and investment policies and patterns through the lens of social and environmental outcomes.
  • Community Health Equity Research Institute: Conducts research into the root causes of health disparities in the City of Buffalo, developing and testing innovative solutions to reduce these disparities.
  • Gender Institute: A university-wide research center that promotes scholarship and teaching related to women, gender, and sexuality and is dedicated to advancing women's and LGBTQ+ leadership, vision, and influence.
  • Genome, Environment and Microbiome Community of Excellence: Advances understanding of the genome, microbiome and environmental factors to revolutionize the emerging field of personalized medicine.
  • Humanities Institute: Supports research and provides a forum for conversations among humanists of all disciplines.
  • Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water (UB RENEW): Addresses complex energy and environmental issues, and their social and economic ramifications through innovative, interdisciplinary research, education and outreach.

UB’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and its constituent units and programs guide and support faculty research, technology transfer and entrepreneurial activities. 

Students and Enrollment

As a leading public law school recognized for providing a high-quality, affordable education, the UB School of Law enrolls a diverse group of students from the United States and around the world. Among the school’s many recruitment programs and initiatives, the award-winning Discover Law Program is a four-week, immersive residential summer program to introduce academically promising college students to law school and legal careers. For the program, the selection committee gives favorable consideration to students who can demonstrate a record of academic achievement despite economic challenges, social or cultural disadvantages, linguistic barriers, or extraordinary family or personal responsibilities.

The school’s enrollment for Fall 2023 is approximately 640 students, including 422 students enrolled in the JD, LLM and JSD programs, and 219 students in its undergraduate and combined undergraduate programs. Women make up 59% of law students, while 16% of law students are from historically underrepresented groups and 18% are international students. In 2023, the school conferred 59 law bachelor’s degrees, 153 JDs, and 7 LLMs. Among undergraduates, the school has a student retention rate of 79%. The July first-time bar passage rate for JD students graduating in 2023 was 85.48%, which outshines the rate for all first-time NY Bar Exam takers from ABA-approved law schools nationwide (84.73%) and exceeds the average for first-time NY Bar Exam takers from ABA-approved law schools in the State of New York (82.52%).

Degree Programs

Among the strongest public law schools in the nation, and a world-class center for interdisciplinary studies, the School of Law offers a variety of academic degrees and programs that provide students with a strong theoretical foundation and the practical tools they need to succeed in a competitive environment. In addition to the three-year JD degree, the school offers a Doctoral of Juridical Science (JSD), the school’s most advanced degree, which leverages the interdisciplinary research strength of the faculty and prepares students for careers as law professors, judicial and other public offices, as well as high-level policy positions in international organizations. The school offers Master of Laws (LLM) degrees in cross-border legal studies, criminal law and general legal studies. The school also offers a unique undergraduate major and minor in law, a 3+3 accelerated BA-JD program for undergraduates at UB and at partner institutions, and an advanced standing two-year JD for internationally trained lawyers. In addition, the School of Law offers several dual degrees, including a JD/MBA, JD/MSW, JD/PhD, JD/PharmD, JD/MUP, JD/MPH, JD/MLS, and JD/MA in applied economics. 

JD Curriculum

The UB School of Law provides a comprehensive and flexible JD curriculum that prepares students for the ethical practice of law. Law students develop practical skills and learn to view the world with compassion, knowing that regardless of where they ultimately choose to work, they have a moral responsibility, as lawyers and leaders, to use their skills and knowledge to serve justice.

Students have an opportunity to craft a curriculum drawing from numerous classes, clinics, concentrations, research centers, degree programs, and a library to build a rich sequence of courses and experiences. A rigorous, three-semester Legal Analysis, Writing and Research program—ranked in the top third of all such writing programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report— provides a foundation for professional skills. Small seminars, independent study and intensive research supervision deepen students’ understanding of law and sharpen their writing skills. The school’s curriculum stresses the study of law in its social context, and a large number of interdisciplinary courses and programs support this emphasis. A strong clinical education program is closely tied to the core curriculum and enhances the curricular concentrations.

The School of Law offers nine optional concentrations or curricular programs for three-year JD students in areas of institutional and faculty strength: advocacy, cross-border legal studies, and finance and development, as well as criminal, family, intellectual property and privacy, international, sports, and environmental law. These programs enhance the upper-level curriculum and provide students with a richer understanding of legal practice by allowing them to acquire in-depth knowledge of a particular practice area and apply that knowledge to complex legal problems and transactions like those actually confronted by lawyers.  

Instruction is offered over two semesters, from early September to May, along with a January bridge term. The law school also offers a summer session from mid-May to mid-July.  UB’s law curriculum permits faculty to structure courses outside the traditional semester framework, which allows for intensive or extended study in innovative formats. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, all students benefit from the focus on learning in small groups with a personalized approach and flexible curriculum. Seminars and law journals provide ample opportunities for student writing and publication. 

Clinical, Practica and Experiential Learning Programs

UB law students are heavily involved in the community and in learning opportunities outside the classroom, providing valuable service while participating in rewarding research and experiential learning opportunities.

The UB School of Law’s clinics offer diverse and sophisticated practice opportunities to upper-division JD and LLM students, who work closely with skilled supervising attorneys. Rather than focusing on routine legal services, these clinical offerings involve cutting-edge issues and complex matters in which creativity and innovation play key roles in effectively serving clients. In the clinics, students and faculty engage in practical legal thinking and ethical practice through client representation, policy development and effective problem-solving in experiential settings. By working with skilled faculty, students experience lawyers’ unique and critical role as valued contributors to the legal profession and larger society. UB’s current clinical legal education courses are:

  • Animal Law: student attorneys and faculty work on national, state and local policy addressing animal welfare issues, such as puppy mills, feral and community cats, and former racehorses.
  • Civil Rights and Transparency: a litigation clinic focused on civil rights and civil liberties, spanning constitutional liberties like free speech, privacy, due process, and statutory civil rights against discrimination.
  • Community Engagement: houses a number of #UBLawResponds initiatives that allow supervised student attorneys to respond to current and vital legal and policy community needs. #UBLawResponds is an initiative that started to raise money to enable UB Law students to assist in recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017 and has since expanded to create opportunities for students to donate their time and expertise to those most in need of legal help.
  • Entrepreneurship Law Center: provides legal services to entrepreneurs and startups that are not yet ready or able to engage outside legal counsel.
  • Environmental Advocacy: focuses on state, national and international environmental policy issues that have direct impact on Western New York, as well as national and international implications.
  • Family Violence and Women’s Rights: students gain a holistic understanding of the complex set of laws and courts that govern family violence practice in New York State and Erie County.
  • Mediation: working on cases referred by local courts or other mediation agencies, students help resolve disputes in family law, small claims and the community.
  • Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance: provides practical legal research and thoughtful pro bono service, through an ongoing collaborative partnership with the people of Puerto Rico.

Among the strongest in the nation, UB’s Practicum courses combine the study of a substantive area under a full-time professor with service learning alongside practicing lawyers. These four-credit courses involve in-field work assisting and observing practicing attorneys, in combination with weekly classroom work with a full-time professor, exploring the substantive law in an in-depth manner, and reflecting on the process of being a practicing attorney. UB’s current practica include Amicus Brief, which explores the role of New York State’s highest court in law and governance, and Sports Law.

Externships and Judicial Externships provide law students with unique legal and public service experience as they work in a variety of government and non-profit organizations. The school offers more than 100 externships and judicial externships that teach real legal skills and provide enriching opportunities for law students to directly observe the real-world practice of law.  This includes a strong network of alumni, as well as non-alumnus who welcome School of Law students because of their demonstrated level of sustained skill.   

Contributing to a school strength in public interest work, the Buffalo Public Interest Law Program works with UB School of Law administration and private funding sources to support and place students in public interest summer externships. Recent placements include the Legal Aid Society, Center for Elder Law and Justice, Jefferson County Public Defender’s Office, Community Legal Advocates of New York, Erie County District Attorney’s Office, Eighth Judicial District of the Erie County Supreme Court, NYS Office of the Inspector General, U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, and the Buffalo-based Journey’s End Refugee Services.

Through UB’s highly competitive Pro Bono Scholars program, students take the New York State bar exam before they graduate, then work full-time in a pro-bono placement during their final semester of law school. 100% of UB’s seven 2023 Pro Bono Scholars passed the bar exam on the first attempt.

Because of UB’s robust clinical programs, practica, externships, Pro Bono Scholars, as well as other engagement and experiential learning programs, law students make a tremendous impact on the community. The JD class of 2023 alone engaged in over 21,000 hours of clinical service.

Travel Programs

UB’s New York City Program in Finance and Law provides School of Law students the opportunity to live and study in New York City for a semester. The program takes full advantage of New York City’s prominence as a global financial center and includes site visits, briefings and interactions with UB alumni and other high-level professionals in a variety of fields.

In addition, each year the school offers a variety of study abroad opportunities, including bilateral exchange programs with the University of New South Wales Law in Australia, University of Glasgow School of Law in Scotland, and Escola Superior d'Administració i Direcció d'Empreses Law School in Spain. The school also offers a variety of short courses, many of them in January, which give students the option to study away from the law school. In recent years, these learning opportunities have included short courses based in New Zealand, France, Israel/Palestine and Washington, D.C.

Advocacy Institute

The Advocacy Institute gives law students the opportunity to develop and practice their advocacy skills, with guidance from distinguished members of the local bench and bar. Launched in 2014 and funded by the School of Law, UB and private donors, the institute serves as host to the school’s programs in Trial Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy, and Mediation. Through these programs, students train with leading judges, trial attorneys, and faculty to develop the litigation skills necessary to successfully advocate on behalf of their future clients. The Advocacy Institute is also home to the Law School's Innocence and Justice Project, which tackles the problems of over-incarceration, racial injustice in the criminal legal system, and unjust convictions, through litigation and research. 

Student Activities

The UB School of Law has four journalsThe Buffalo Law Review, Buffalo Environmental Law Journal, Buffalo Human Rights Law Review, and Buddhism, Law & Society—three of which are student edited. The Buffalo Law Review is recognized as an outlet for path-breaking, interdisciplinary scholarship.

The school has some 30 other student groups, including moot court boards that run two national competitions—the Buffalo-Niagara Mock Trial Competition (one of the largest in the nation) and the Herbert Wechsler National Criminal Moot Court Competition—as well as the intramural Charles S. Desmond Moot Court Competition. UB law students also participate and excel in many other national, international and regional moot court, mock trial and mediation competitions.

The Student Bar Association is the law students’ governing body, providing funding and oversight for law student organizations and working with UB School of Law administration and faculty on issues of common interest.  

Career Services and Placement

UB law students benefit from an excellent career services and professional development program. The Career Services Office (CSO) is dedicated to providing students and alumni the assistance, encouragement and support necessary to discover and pursue paths toward career development and advancement. From their first semester, CSO provides students with personalized guidance and support, professional development programs, employment tools and job postings. The Law School has both on- and off-campus interview programs for students with potential employers facilitated by CSO. CSO also has a strong public interest focus to assist students seeking legal-services or government employment.

UB School of Law graduates find employment at high rates. The great majority of UB’s graduates are employed or pursuing advanced degrees within nine months of graduation. The School of Law’s employment rate in 2022 was 90% (85% in full-time, long-term positions requiring bar passage or JD advantage). Law graduates secure employment across a broad range of employers including private law firms, judicial clerkships, government and industry. Each year, reflecting the school’s focus on public interest, a large percentage of law graduates—30% of the class of 2022—are employed in public interest and government organizations, with several receiving prestigious fellowships from organizations including the New York State Excelsior Office and Immigrant Justice Corps. Additionally, UB School of Law graduates are well-represented in industries that seek graduates with a law degree but not necessarily bar admission for a business or other professional role.

Alumni and Advancement

One of the School of Law’s greatest strengths is its relationships with alumni and the broader legal community. The school enjoys an exceptionally supportive and engaged community of more than 11,000 alumni that includes members of the judiciary, a majority of Erie County attorneys, law firm managing partners, leaders of major academic institutions, corporate CEOs and presidents, and many members of cultural, academic, nonprofit and advisory boards. UB’s generous law alumni provide crucial financial resources for student support, endowed chairs and professorships and curricular and facility enhancements. Alumni offer a comprehensive mentoring program for students; identify opportunities for externships, internships and employment; and they frequently serve as guest speakers, trial team coaches, moot court judges and adjunct faculty.

Two associations keep graduates involved in the school: the Law Alumni Association, along with its standing committee—the Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) Group—which focuses on the needs of new alumni as they bridge the gap from graduate to attorney; and, a Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC). The LAA and GOLD Group, in combination, offer educational opportunities for alumni; fund admission scholarships; facilitate the School of Law’s mentoring program; undertake fundraising and other initiatives on behalf of the School Law; host annual award celebrations for alumni and non-alumnus in concert with the School of Law; and, otherwise act as a strategic partner in many other ways. The DAC is composed of more than 40 leaders of the profession who advise the dean on matters such as curriculum, development, alumni relations, governmental relations, public service and administration for the school. 

Law Library

The Charles B. Sears Law Library, occupies six floors in the center of O'Brian Hall and boasts a variety of study spaces available to all UB students. As the only research-level law library in Western New York, the law library is an important community resource that serves the legal information needs of the UB community, the practicing bar, and the public at large.

The law library’s collection of more than 470,000 volumes plus a wide array of online resources in law and related disciplines, is augmented by convenient access to the university's over three million-volume research collection and extensive interlibrary loan network. The law-trained librarians provide research support for law faculty and offer reference training assistance to law students. They provide crucial research services to faculty and scholars across the country and continue to serve alumni well after graduation.

The Law Library houses a number of special collections, including the Morris L. Cohen Rare Book Collection, with over 1,000 volumes featuring 17th through 19th-century English and American legal sources, which is regularly used by law faculty. Other special collections include the Watergate Collection, with notebooks and investigative files of the Counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and several collections focusing on Native Americans and indigenous peoples around the world. The Law Library also maintains the Digital Commons @ University at Buffalo School of Law, an open access, digital repository to preserve and disseminate the school’s research, scholarship and creative activity.  

UB Overview

Impactful research, scholarly distinction, transformative student experiences, and far-reaching service to local, state, national, and international communities define UB’s mission as one of the nation’s leading public research universities. UB was founded in 1846 as a private medical college located in downtown Buffalo and joined the SUNY network in 1962. SUNY is the largest state university system in the United States, and UB is a flagship campus and the largest and most comprehensive public research university within the system. In 1989, UB was among the first public universities in the Northeast to be admitted into the AAU. Over the years, UB’s scope and mission have expanded significantly as it has grown into a world-renowned research university that is the thriving heart of the regional community, a national leader in public higher education, and a global hub for excellence in research and education.

UB enrolls nearly 32,000 students (approximately two-thirds undergraduate and one-third graduate and professional students), and offers more than 500 degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, professional, and doctoral levels across its 12 decanal units. UB is a global community of scholars, ranking among the nation’s top 30 universities for the enrollment of international students in the Open Doors census for two decades. International students currently represent 20% of total enrollment at UB. The university enjoys a strong presence abroad, maintaining affiliation agreements with 95 universities in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa. UB’s more than 290,000 alumni live in 150 countries worldwide.

UB has a distinguished faculty of over 1,500 full-time members. UB is currently undertaking its largest faculty-hiring initiative in recent history, Advancing Top 25: UB Faculty Hiring, with plans to recruit upward of 200 full-time faculty over the next two years.

UB is home to more than 120 research centers and institutes; its current annual research expenditures, including those in affiliated institutions, exceed $425 million. The University Libraries hold more than three million volumes and provide access to an exceptionally wide array of digital information resources.

UB’s academic programs and facilities are located on three distinct campuses in the Buffalo metropolitan area. UB’s North Campus, located in the suburb of Amherst, is the university’s main undergraduate campus and home to the School of Law and the university’s primary athletics and cultural facilities. Three miles to the south, on the northern edge of the City of Buffalo, is the university’s historic South Campus, home to many of the university’s professional schools. The focal point of UB’s third, downtown campus center is the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, on which UB’s state-of-the-art Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is located in proximity to the university’s health and life science partners.

Recognizing the key role that a vibrant 21st-century physical campus environment plays in enhancing education, research, and learning, UB is realizing a long-range Master Plan for enhancing its North, South, and Downtown campus spaces and connecting them more effectively to their surrounding communities.

With an annual operating revenue of $935 million, UB and its affiliated entities generate an estimated economic impact of $1.8 billion annually in New York State. The university’s total workforce of over 9,000 full-time equivalent employees makes it one of the region’s largest employers. UB is also a leader and an active partner with the more than 20 public and private colleges and universities in the Buffalo-Niagara region.

UB leadership

Satish K. Tripathi, President

Internationally recognized as an accomplished researcher and transformative higher education leader, Satish K. Tripathi was appointed the 15th president of the University at Buffalo on April 18, 2011.

The first international-born president in UB’s history, Dr. Tripathi served as UB’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs from 2004-2011, was one of the principal creators of UB’s long-range strategic plan, which led the university to achieve significant growth in research and scholarly activity, improved the caliber and diversity of students, transformed the university’s living-learning environment and greatly expanded its international presence. Building on these impactful achievements, today Dr. Tripathi is focused on positioning UB among the top 25 public research universities in the nation. UB’s Top 25 Ambition is dedicated to achieving greater societal impact by enhancing the university’s scholarly productivity and growing its research portfolio; providing students with innovative, research-grounded educational experiences; building upon UB’s university-wide culture of equity and inclusion; and deepening the university’s engagement in the region by strengthening partnerships, with the goal of contributing to positive health outcomes and economic vitality. 

Prior to coming to UB, Dr. Tripathi served as dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California-Riverside, where he led that school’s rise from an unranked program to a position in the upper half of the U.S. News and World Report Best Engineering Graduate School rankings. Previously, he was a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, where his 19-year tenure as a faculty member included serving as chair from 1988-1995. Dr. Tripathi graduated at the top of his class from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in India and holds a doctorate in computer science from the University of Toronto along with three master's degrees—one in computer science from the University of Toronto and two in statistics from the University of Alberta and BHU. A fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he holds honorary degrees from the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, and Brock University in Ontario, Canada. In 2009, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by Banaras Hindu University.

An active leader in the national higher education community, Dr. Tripathi serves on the College Football Playoff Board of Managers and Internet2 Board of Trustees and has served on the board of directors for the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Additionally, he has served as chair of the Mid American Conference Council of Presidents as well as on the board of the NCAA Division I and NCAA Board of Governors. Among his numerous community leadership roles, Dr. Tripathi serves on the boards of directors of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Great Lakes Health System of WNY. In 2011, Dr. Tripathi was appointed the inaugural co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, a position he held until 2017.

A. Scott Weber, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

As Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, A. Scott Weber serves as the university’s chief academic officer, responsible for leading the development and implementation of the university’s academic vision. Dr. Weber provides leadership across the academic enterprise including research, scholarship and creative activities; undergraduate, graduate, professional and international education; faculty development; diversity and inclusion initiatives; and university libraries.

A member of UB’s faculty since 1983, Dr. Weber is an innovative scholar and teacher and former chair of UB’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. During his time as chair, the department rose significantly in national rankings.  

Dr. Weber has held progressively responsible administrative roles at UB, including senior vice provost for academic affairs, where he provided leadership for graduate and undergraduate education, centralized enrollment services, student-support services and transformative extracurricular programs. He led efforts to ensure that students have an outstanding educational experience with opportunities to engage in truly distinctive research, creative and public service activities that are hallmarks of a top-tier university education. He was instrumental in the creation of the UB Curriculum and the nationally recognized Finish in 4 program. In addition, Dr. Weber served as vice president for student life, where he focused on providing UB’s students with exceptional programs and services that offer opportunities to build communities, encourage discovery, promote wellness, and allow students to grow and prosper.

Dr. Weber’s research focuses on biodegradation of chemicals in water and soil and the reclamation of environmentally impacted sites known as brownfields. He earned bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in civil engineering from Virginia Tech and a PhD in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis.

The State University of New York

The State University of New York is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive state university system, consisting of 64 campuses including major research universities, health science centers, comprehensive and technical colleges, and community colleges, all committed to providing a broad range of outstanding academic programs for students within New York and from around the world. It enrolls more than 363,000 students annually, employs more than 83,000 faculty and staff, and connects more than three million alumni around the world. 

Land Acknowledgement

UB acknowledges that our campuses operate on land that is the traditional territory of the Seneca Nation, a member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the region remains the home of the Haudenosaunee people. Further, we responsibly acknowledge the continuing impact of settler colonialism on the Haudenosaunee and their territories.

Our scholarly community values Indigenous cultures, histories, traditions, knowledge systems, and political entities and deeply appreciates the important role of Indigenous people in the history, the present and the future of our region, this country and the world.

Buffalo Niagara

As a world-renowned research university, UB’s intellectual capital and innovation are playing a vital role in Buffalo’s resurgence as a thriving city that is a magnet for talented professionals, artists, entrepreneurs, and innovators who recognize the tremendous energy and momentum gathering here. Home to one of the nation’s fastest growing populations of college graduates, the Buffalo-Niagara region, with 1.2 million residents, is the state’s second largest major metropolitan area, exceeded only by New York City. The region includes a diverse blend of communities, each with its own distinct personality, yet commonly characterized by a distinctly neighborly way of life, an unpretentious nature and spirited loyalty among residents. Buffalo’s own strong sense of community, easy lifestyle, and affordability regularly place it in top ten lists from a variety of national publications for its overall quality of life.

Buffalo is a city that is densely packed with legal institutions. Within downtown Buffalo are a United States District Court, United States Immigration Court, Buffalo City Court, United States Bankruptcy Court, New York State Supreme Court, Erie County Court, Buffalo City Court, Family Court and Integrated Domestic Violence Court. In addition, Buffalo features a large number of private practitioners and offices of regional and national law firms, public officials at the local, county, state and federal levels, and advocates working in numerous non-governmental organizations in the Buffalo Niagara region and across the state.

Buffalo offers an impressive array of cultural and recreational opportunities uncommon for a city of its size. Buffalo’s rich cultural resources reflect its distinguished history and commitment to sustaining the arts, including the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; the world-class collection of modern painting and sculpture at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum; an extensive array of historic architectural treasures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan, and Eero and Eliel Saarinen; an expansive park system (including Delaware Park), considered to be the very best work of designer Frederick Law Olmsted; and a variety of summer festivals. The city is home to the state’s largest concentration of theaters outside of New York City. From the Michigan Street Baptist Church, to the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, to the Colored Musicians Club and Jazz Museum, the Buffalo Niagara region has a rich African-American heritage to explore. Buffalo is a family friendly, livable and affordable city, with Niagara Falls, one of the major tourist attractions of the world, a short drive away. Buffalo is close to two wine growing regions—Niagara Escarpment and the Finger Lakes region—and it was named one of the Top 10 Food Cities by National Geographic. In addition, the Adirondack Mountains are half-day’s drive from Buffalo.

Rich in natural resources and beauty, the Buffalo-Niagara area is a four-season region that offers the best for seasonal sports enthusiasts. University at Buffalo fans enjoy a full complement of NCAA Division I sports with the UB Bulls, as well as the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Triple-A baseball’s Buffalo Bisons, and the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits.

Less than a two-hour drive from Buffalo across the United States-Canada border is Toronto, the cultural, entertainment, and financial capital of Canada. Buffalo is also ideally located for easy access to many of America’s major cities. The Buffalo-Niagara International Airport offers direct flights to more than 20 cities, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington, DC, all only an hour’s flight away.

UB has played a central role in the creation of a strong, sustainable knowledge economy and thriving entrepreneurial culture that are driving Buffalo’s revitalization. Exemplified and driven by the centrally located Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo is experiencing a period of tremendous progress and momentum as well as unprecedented regional investments in the industries of the future and in the assets that ensure a satisfying quality of life for all its citizens.

UB and the School of Law are vital participants in Buffalo’s economic resurgence and the legal and education communities, and the dean will be a visible representative of the school and university. Within the local business community, UB has well-established ties with major partners and is also making a mark in the areas of health and life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and renewable energy. The dean will encourage and support faculty, student, and staff research, education, and engagement activities that make an impact in Buffalo and around the world.

Nomination and Application Procedures

Additional information about UB’s School of Law can be found at https://www.law.buffalo.edu/ or at the search website: http://www.buffalo.edu/leadership-searches/current-searches/school-of-law-dean_2023.html.

Interested individuals should provide an electronic version of their curriculum vitae (Microsoft Word or PDF strongly preferred). A letter describing interest in, and qualifications for, the position is recommended, but not required. All inquiries, nominations and applications should be sent electronically via Russell Reynolds at UB.Law@russellreynolds.com. .

To ensure full consideration, materials should be received as soon as possible but no later than Monday, February 5, 2024. Review of nominations and applications for the position will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To assure sensitivity toward the positions presently held by nominees and applicants, the search will be conducted in strict confidence until finalists participate in campus visits. References will not be contacted without the prior knowledge and approval of the candidates.

Compensation for this position is highly competitive. It is anticipated that the dean will begin service by the start of the 2024-25 academic year. Review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until a dean of the School of Law is appointed.

The University at Buffalo is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic university community committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. Potential applicants who share this goal, including veterans and individuals with disabilities, are encouraged to apply.