The Many Ways You Give Back: Kristen Smith L’05

In addition to your financial gifts, loyal and engaged Orange alumni help their alma mater in many other ways—from hiring graduates and hosting externs, to guest lecturing and teaching, to coaching and judging advocacy teams.
Every way you contribute makes a difference for our students, not least in the personal professional bonds that are formed among generations of Orange lawyers.
Here we offer a few vignettes about how alums have been offering their time and talent in the past year, and why they do it. 


The Optimism and the Energy

There’s an energy about the students that I love,” says Kristen Smith L’05. “It reminds me of what was exciting about law school—the optimism and the energy. It’s good to be around.”

That’s just one of the reasons why Smith, Corporation Counsel for the City of Syracuse, likes to help out with College of Law Orientation. In fall 2020, she was asked to join the student/alumni roundtable and break-out sessions to introduce the incoming class of JDinteractive students to Orange Nation.

“This was my second time helping out at JDi Orientation,” says Smith. “In 2019 it was in Dineen Hall, but this time it was via Zoom. In addition to an open forum, I discussed law school and legal careers. I was very impressed with the technology.”

The students, recalls Smith, asked questions about study habits, how externships work for students with full time jobs, and whether or not an online program graduate will be able to find employment.

Addressing this last question, Smith reminded students that there isn’t much data on employment for online program graduates, “but as long as they have a strong academic record and do well, employers will look at their credentials. Besides, now that law schools are online due to the coronavirus pandemic, a fully online law degree will be less unusual.”

Not only does Smith enjoy the energy and optimism of the matriculating students, she also likes staying connected to her alma mater. “I think that graduates have to stay connected for the sake of the classes that come after us,” she observes. “It’s an important thing to do for an institution we care about.”