3L Dana Shearer Receives the John Goerner L’23 Memorial Scholarship

3L Dana Shearer has been selected to receive the inaugural John Goerner L’23 Memorial Scholarship. Goerner passed away in 2021 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer while studying for his J.D. degree in the College’s JDinteractive (JDi) program.  To honor his legacy, members of the JDi class of 2023 dedicated their fundraising efforts to establish the John Goerner Scholarship with the intent of supporting JDi students facing demonstrated adversity who nevertheless persevere in their study of law at Syracuse.

At the College of Law, Shearer is a member of the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society’s Virtual Advocacy Division, the First Generation Law Students Association, and the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity.

“Following law school, I plan to pursue criminal law. My passion and knack for oral argument have led me to the courtroom as an advocate. I was initially interested in wrongful conviction exoneration but have chosen to pursue the path of prosecution— a mission to do it right rather than make it right. I am still living in the mountains of North Carolina but have felt the tug to explore new possibilities recently. My ties to Asheville dissipate as my stepdaughter, who was by my side through the toughest of times, heads to Duke University this fall on a full scholarship. I am so proud of where she and I have landed in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity. Thank you for helping me along my journey in the pursuit of law. And thank you to John for being an inspiration to us all in the pursuit of kindness and generosity,” says Shearer.

Professor Cora True-Frost Named 2024–2027 Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence

Cora True-Frost L’01, the Bond Schoeneck and King Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law has been honored with the title of Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence. This prestigious award recognizes True-Frost’s exceptional contributions as both a teacher and a scholar within the university community.

The Meredith Professorship is among the highest teaching accolades at Syracuse University, bestowed annually upon two tenured faculty members. Those who receive this honor are expected to actively engage with the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) to enhance the teaching and learning environment across campus and stimulate discussions on teaching excellence.

True-Frost specializes in constitutional law, European and international disability law , and public international law. Her recent research focuses on the right to travel, accessibility and reasonable accommodation law within the Council of Europe, as well as conflicts between interpretations of international human rights and regional human rights law. True-Frost co-edited and authored “The First Global Prosecutor: Promise and Constraints” with Martha Minow and Alex Whiting. Her published works cover a range of topics, including international disability law and human rights, ICC prosecution, terrorism and human rights law, and the UN Security Council. 

During the 2021-2022 academic year, she was an Erasmus Fellow at Bialystok University School of Law and during the 2022-2023 academic year, she was a Fulbright Research Scholar at the PluriCourts Centre in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo, Norway.  Her scholarship is enriched by her experience parenting a child with severe disabilities and her international legal practice.   She has defended individuals accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes, worked in the post-conflict settings of East Timor and Sierra Leone, and, at UN headquarters,ledthe Nongovernmental Organization Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security, in its advocacy to the UN Security Council.

True-Frost also serves as the faculty director of Impunity Watch News, the Journal of Global Rights and Organizations, and the Journal of International Law and Commerce. She has taught at Harvard Law School, the Academy of European Law in Florence, Italy, and Mackenzie School of Law, in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

As a newly appointed Meredith Professor, True-Frost will receive a supplementary salary award and additional funding for professional development each year of her appointment. Meredith Professors are lifelong members of the Meredith Symposium, providing a permanent platform for the discussion of teaching and learning.  True-Frost’s Meredith project will focus on cultivating students’ sense of belonging in classrooms and involvement through universal design for learning.

Professor Shubha Ghosh was Selected for the Japanese Patent Office’s Visiting Scholars Program

Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh, director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute and Technology Commercialization Law Program, has been selected for the Visiting Scholar Program sponsored by the Institute for Intellectual Property, the research arm of the Japanese Patent Office in Tokyo. He will be conducting research on university technology commercialization in Japanese universities under Japan’s patent laws.

This is Professor Ghosh’s second research project for the Institute for Intellectual Property, having produced the report “Design Protection Law and Policy: A Comparative Perspective Japan and US” in Winter 2017-2018.

College of Law and the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission Host the ABA’s Annual Law Day Commemoration on April 19

Syracuse University College of Law and the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission are hosting the American Bar Association’s annual Law Day commemoration on Friday, April 19 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the College of Law’s Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom. The event will also be available on Zoom.

The theme for Law Day 2024 is “Voices of Democracy.”  The program will feature presentations by Judges, Directors, and Legal Fellows of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission; faculty members of Syracuse University the College of Law; and a panel discussion with College of Law students from diverse backgrounds.

“Participants will address what the program theme means to them and what it means to our society,” says Professor Paula Johnson, a Commissioner on the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission.

College of Law Professors Lauryn Gouldin and Mary Szto will participate as a speaker during the event. College of Law student participants include:

2L James Cameron III

Cameron is a First-Generation Law Student who serves as Community Service chair for the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) as well as President of the Latin American Law Student Association (LALSA).  He attended undergraduate school at the University of Oklahoma where he received degrees in International Business and Economics.

3L Robert J. (Robby) Chappell, Jr.

Chappell earned an MA in Television, Radio, & Film at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a BBA in Finance at Howard University. He has developed a passion for entertainment law, film financing, and protecting free speech.

3L Jasmine L. Geyen

Geyen is President of the Black Law Students Association and Upstate New York Sub-Regional Director of the Northeast Black Law Students Society.  She is a 2024 Class Senator of the Syracuse Law Student Bar Association, an Associate Editor of Vol. 50 of the Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce, and a member of the Trial Division of the Advocacy Honor Society. 

2L McKenzie E. Kestler

Kestler graduated from Mercyhurst University summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  She is involved in the Cold Case Justice Initiative, Syracuse Law Review, the Women’s Law Student Association as the director of the Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention Committee, and the Family Law Society.  Kestler believes that a good lawyer is a creative one, and she uses her creativity to be a strong legal thinker and advocate.

1L Lela Lanier

Lanier graduated from Towson University, magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Deaf Studies. She is a law ambassador and a student-athlete on the cheerleading team. She is passionate about disability rights and has done research in juvenile justice reform, and hearing loss in prison populations.

2L Carina Thompson

Thompson received a B.A. in Political Science and Public Policy magna cum laude with All College Honors from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. While there, she participated in The Washington Center Academic Internship program where in tandem with professional development workshops she interned with a Washington D.C. immigration law firm and participated in a Death Penalty course. At Syracuse Law, Carina is a general body member of the First Generation Law Students Association and serves as Vice President for the Black Law Student Association.

Register for the free Law Day here.

About the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission

The Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission educates and advises decision makers in the New York Court System on issues affecting both employees and litigants of color, and implements recommendations developed to address said issues.

Created in 1988, the New York State Judicial Commission on Minorities (now known as the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission) conducted a comprehensive study on minority participation in the courts and legal profession and perceptions regarding the treatment of minorities in the courts. In 1991, the Commission released a detailed report of findings and recommendations and was established as a permanent entity charged with the responsibility for developing programs to improve the perception of fairness within the court system and to ensure equal justice in New York State. The members of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission are judges, lawyers, and court administrators all appointed by the Chief Judge of the State of New York.

College of Law Honors 3L Michael Roy Ortizo with the 2024 IAPP Annual Westin Scholar Award

Syracuse, New York – 04/9/24 – Syracuse University College of Law is pleased to announce the 2024 Kurt Wimmer IAPP Westin Scholar Award honoree as 3L Michael Roy Ortizo.  With the growing need for well-qualified privacy and data protection professionals, the annual Westin Scholar Awards were created by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) to support students who are identified as future leaders in the field of privacy and data protection.

As a participating Westin Scholar Award school, the  College of Law’s 2024 Kurt Wimmer IAPP Westin Scholar Award Committee (Amber Lawyer L’17, Deputy Chair, Bond, Schoeneck & King Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice, Professor Lauryn Gouldin, Professor Shubha Ghosh, Professor Keli Perrin L’05, Professor Daniel Traficonte, and Assistant Dean Lily Yan Hughes) selected Ortizo to receive this year’s award in recognition of his passion and path that he has already forged for himself in privacy law.

Ortizo has externed with the data privacy division of Trillium Health since Fall 2023. He also has two pending publications related to privacy with the Journal of Science and Technology Law and the College of Law’s Innovation Law Center.  Ortizo will work at Crowe, LLP as part of their data privacy team in New York City after graduation and is also planning to take exams for the IAPP certifications.  “Thank you to the Kurt Wimmer IAPP Westin Award Committee,” said Ortizo.  “It is an honor to be selected, and I look forward to obtaining the IAPP certifications and contributing to the field of privacy.”

Michael will be awarded the following:

  • A $1,000 cash award
  • 2 years of membership with the IAPP
  • 3 complimentary exams for IAPP certifications (CIPP, CIPM, CIPT)
  • Unlimited access to online training for recipient’s selected IAPP certification exams

“The industry of privacy is fast growing and constantly evolving. We’ve created this award as a way to put the privacy profession at the forefront of students’ minds as they explore potential career opportunities,” said J. Trevor Hughes, IAPP President and CEO. “Congratulations Michael. We look forward to seeing the good work you will bring to the field of privacy”.

About the Westin Scholar Award and Kurt Wimmer

The Westin Scholar Awards pay homage to the late Dr. Alan Westin, a foundational voice in the field of privacy and data protection. Throughout his life, Dr. Westin researched and wrote about privacy, data protection, digital identity and the future of how societies will deal with issues at the intersection of law and technology. He is the namesake for the IAPP Westin Research Center and Fellowship Program, which was founded in 2013 and serves as a pathway for future leaders in the community. More information on the Award can be found at Westin Scholar Award.

Proud Syracuse Law alumnus Kurt Wimmer was an international leader in privacy, cybersecurity, technology, and media law, whose career at Covington & Burling spanned more than three decades, including as co-chair of the firm’s global data privacy and cybersecurity practice in Washington, D.C.

As a privacy and technology lawyer, Wimmer worked closely with clients including Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung and other multinational organizations, in addition to non-traditional clients such as the National Football League and National Hockey League.


Orange Flex Success: Third Year Away as a Judicial Law Clerk Extern at U.S. District Court

Carly standing in front of the Western District of New York, United States District Court sign

Carly Cross L’24
US District Court, Western District of New York in Buffalo, NY

Carly Cross L’24 is a first-generation college and law student. During her undergraduate career, she completed an internship with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York (WDNY), where her passion for learning about the law came to fruition.

She later enrolled in Syracuse Law in 2021, soon undertaking more internship experiences as she planned her future career. Cross has since interned with the New York State Office of the Attorney General and Goldman Sachs Ayco Personal Financial Management. This semester, she elected to complete an externship with the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, working as a Judicial Law Clerk Extern for the Hon. Lawrence J. Vilardo in Buffalo, NY. Taking advantage of the Orange Flex program, she is spending her final semester living and working in Buffalo while completing her classes online through the JDinteractive program.

Carly standing in front of a warmly lit space

“I love that I get to be in court every day. Whenever Judge Vilardo is on the bench, I am present to observe the proceedings…I will be walking away from this externship knowing that I have aided in the drafting, writing, and editing of various federal judicial orders.”

Carly Cross L’24

The Externship Opportunity Fund made this unpaid externship and year away from Syracuse a possibility for Cross. She explains that she knew going into her 3L year she would be working for free, but “it was a risk I was willing to take because I knew that the opportunity waiting for me at the WDNY was going to change the trajectory of my career and life.”

Through working at her externship, Cross has solidified her conviction that she is heading in the right direction for her career and has developed a heightened enthusiasm for public interest and governmental service.

Carly looking off into the distance in front of a fountain

“I love that I get to be in court every day,” she explains. “Whenever Judge Vilardo is on the bench, I am present to observe the proceedings. I have found that I can learn just as much by attending a status conference as I can learn from attending a trial. I get to observe bright and brilliant attorneys in practice every day, which is helpful because I am someone who learns by the examples set in front of me. I also love that I get to improve my legal research and writing skills. A lot of my time is spent preparing screening orders for pro se litigant complaints filed in our District. I will be walking away from this externship knowing that I have aided in the drafting, writing, and editing of various federal judicial orders.”

Despite not being on campus, Cross is still involved with her classmates and community back in Syracuse. She serves as a Notes & Comment Editor for the Journal of International Law and Commerce, assisting 2L members with their notes they are preparing in hope of publication, and works as a Research Assistant in the Appellate Advocacy Skills course. She also served as the Student Representative for the Law School Faculty Curriculum Committee for the 2022-2023 school year, is the Treasurer of the Criminal Law Society, and is an Appellate Division Member of the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society.

Carly sitting in a coffee shop writing in front of a window

Cross is optimistic and excited about her post-graduate career. “Spending my third year of law school in the format of an externship has been truly invaluable for me,” she says. “I have been able to focus on fine-tuning my legal writing skills while learning how to write for an audience I have never written for. I also think this externship will give me a great edge when beginning my post-law grad career, as my knowledge and understanding of the federal court system is becoming vast (though I will never stop learning).”

She believes that taking advantage of externship opportunities as a law student will never hurt you. They will teach what you like and what you don’t like, and they may help you discover new passions you would have otherwise never thought of pursuing.

Carly crossing the street

Expressing enduring gratitude for the mentors and influences in her life, particularly during challenging times, she extends her heartfelt thanks to those who have supported her and encouraged her to pursue her goals. Because of that support, “I was able to keep trudging along,” she says. “And eventually, the trudging with my head down turned into walking steadily with my head held high.”

Professor Emeritus William C. Banks Discusses the Texas National Guard and the Southern Border Emeritus William C. Banks spoke with the Christian Science Monitor on the Texas National Guard’s role in patrolling the southern U.S. border.

In the article “Texas National Guard tests state authority on U.S. southern border”, Banks says

“No state can use the National Guard in a way that offends the United States Constitution, or the supremacy of federal law. What’s going on now in Texas, viewed a certain way, is Abbott is interfering in a federal power over immigration.”

3L Iris Guzman and 2L Nikolaus Merz Win the 46th Annual Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition

3L Iris Guzman and 2L Nikolaus Merz prevailed over 3L Rachel Wallisky and 2L John Rutecki in the 46th Annual Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition. Rutecki was named Best Advocate.

The final round was judged by the Hon. John F. Boyd II L’16 (Manlius, NY Town Judge), Diana G. Rogatch G’21, L’21 (Associate, Bousquet Holstein PLLC), and the Hon. Jean Marie Westlake L’01 (New York State Supreme Court Justice, 5th Judicial District).

The Hon. John F. Boyd II, Nikolaus Merz, the Hon. Jean Marie Westlake, Iris Guzman, and Diana G. Rogatch

Professor Greg Germain on Trump Gag Order: “He Could Face Direct Criminal Contempt”

Professor Greg Germain recently spoke with Newsweek about the gag order issued to Donald Trump in the Stormy Daniels hush money case.

Germain said, “apart from making comments outside of court, Trump could face ‘direct criminal contempt’ proceedings while appearing in person at the Daniels trial.”

“If Trump did not control himself in court, for example, if he insulted the judge in court, the judge could hold him in direct contempt and put him in jail for a few days or something like that,” said Germain.

Germain added that, in addition to direct and indirect criminal contempt of court, Trump could also face civil contempt proceedings.

“Civil contempt is to force future compliance with an order. If Trump was ordered to do something, like turn over his passport or testify, and refused, he could be put in jail until he agreed to comply,” he said.

Syracuse University College of Law Recognized by preLaw Magazine as a Best Law School for Practical Training

Syracuse University College of Law was recognized in the Spring 2024 edition of preLaw Magazine in their Best Law Schools for Practical Training. Based on preLaw’s methodology, the College of Law received a B+ rating.

The rankings consider clinics, pro bono, externships, simulation courses, moot court, and other practical training such as legal communication and research courses.

The College of Law offers six legal clinics (with a seventh, the Housing Clinic, starting in Fall 2024) and many opportunities to participate in intracollegiate and intercollegiate moot court competitions through the Advocacy Honor Society. Students can further specialize in advocacy through our joint J.D./LL.M. in Advocacy and Litigation which provides a focused advanced degree option for those interested in a career in litigation or advocacy.

The Office of Career Services collaborates with local attorneys who perform public interest work to provide pro bono opportunities to students and to serve the community and works with students to secure externships around the country tailored to their individual career goals. Likewise, students have many experiential learning opportunities to choose from that provide practical training for careers in law.