Syracuse Law alumni help their alma mater in many ways, and in this feature we offer a few vignettes about how they have offered their time and talent over the past year—from creating scholarships, guest lecturing, hosting externs, to hiring graduates, and more.
We not only ask what alums are doing but why they do it. Remember, every way you contribute makes a difference for our students, not least in the personal and professional bonds that are formed among generations of Orange lawyers.
“Don’t Forget Your Beginnings”
Giving back, for Kimberly Lau ’03, L’06, is a way to express what she calls her “personal love of the University”—where she received both her undergraduate and law degrees—and a way to recognize how Orange connections helped launch her successful career.
“I was awarded scholarships for both my undergraduate degree and law school, so I’ve always felt supported by Syracuse, and also I understand the importance of the alumni network because that is how I got my first job,” says Lau.
Currently, Partner and Chair of the Title IX/College Disciplinary Department at New York City law firm Warshaw Burstein LLP, Lau’s first job was with white shoe Manhattan firm Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti LLP. “University alumnus Daniel Carroll ’66 hired me for a litigation job there, and I haven’t looked back.”
“When I reflect on my positive experiences at the University, I ask myself, how can I give back? That’s what drives me,” Lau explains. And now that she is in a position to hire externs, interns, and associates at Warshaw Burstein, she can positively affect the careers of young Syracuse grads the way Carroll did for her.
A case in point, Lau has signed on with the Office of Career Services to accept spring externs and summer interns. In the summer of 2019, one of those interns was Aubre Dean L’20.
“Aubre performed very well as an intern,” says Lau. “I was familiar with her work and received positive feedback about her work with other partners. I could see she had potential. She was sharp, analytical, and able to anticipate questions.”
By the end of that summer, Lau knew that Dean was full-time associate material. “Aubre is still in her first year with us, and she’s doing well,” notes Lau. “She has definitely learned a lot, and the traits she brought during her internship summer continue to guide her positive development as an attorney.”
Hiring isn’t the only way Lau continues to help the College and University. “I donate every year to scholarship funds, and I jump at opportunities to speak with students at the law school. My advice to other alums when thinking about giving back is to look inward and don’t forget your beginnings.”