Four UB Law School Alumni Named Among America's Top 50 Black Lawyers

Release Date: December 9, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Four alumni of the University at Buffalo Law School have been named to Black Enterprise magazine's list of America's Top Black Lawyers.

Selection of the 50 lawyers - who are graduates of a total of 30 law schools -- were made on the basis of research with leading law schools, legal scholars, prominent attorneys and a number of national legal organizations. Magazine editors then identified the best attorneys in 15 categories, ranging from criminal defense to patent law.

The UB Law School alumni cited are:

Michael C. Banks, JD '89, of Freeport, N.Y., a partner with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in New York City, named one of America's top black lawyers in mergers and acquisitions/securities

Michael A. Battle, JD '81, of Buffalo, U.S. district attorney for the Western District of New York, named one of America's top black lawyers in government

Vincent Dunn, JD '89, BA '86, of Rockville, N.Y., a partner with Chadbourne & Parke in New York City, named one of America's top black lawyers in banking and financial services

Brent L. Wilson, JD '76, of Lithonia, Ga., a partner with Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp & Wilson in Atlanta, named one of America's top black lawyers in labor and employment

"The University at Buffalo Law School is honored by the success of our African-American graduates," said Dean Nils Olsen. "Their prominence is representative of the many extraordinary attorneys of color who have graduated from UB over the years.

"Most significantly, with four graduates on the list of top black lawyers, the UB Law School tied with Stanford University's Law School for fifth nationally, trailing Harvard Law School, with 16 graduates; Columbia Law School, with 10; the University of Michigan Law School, with 7, and Howard University Law School, with 5 graduates," Olsen added. "This is a testament both to the long-term commitment to diversity that the law school has made and to the wonderful students of color who have attended UB."

Banks' work focuses on a range of deals, from securities offerings to financings of power plants, pipelines, refineries and other ventures in the U.S., Asia and Latin America. He represented underwriters in a $536 million leveraged lease financing by subsidiaries of Ahold USA, Inc., and represented purchasers in a $290 million securitization backed by the sale of oil generated by Ecopetrol.

Battle began his legal career with the Legal Aid Society. He currently is working to prosecute on federal charges James Kopp, already convicted of killing Barnett Slepian. In 2002, he prosecuted the Lackawanna Six, alleged members of a terrorist sleeper cell who were trained in an Afghanistan camp connected to Al Qaeda. All pleaded guilty and were offered sentences of between seven and 10 years.

Dunn handles both lenders and borrowers in connection with secured and unsecured transactions, including acquisition financing, vendor financing and raising working capital. He represented lenders in a $1.8 billion construction financing case for turbine generators and raised $500 million to lease the construction of an electric generating facility.

Wilson confines his practice to the representation of management clients in labor relations and employment law matters. He also is an arbiter with the National Association of Securities Dealers. Wilson successfully defended Hooters of America against an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission charge that the "Hooters girl" concept was discriminatory because it prevented men from waiting tables at the restaurant.

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