April 2019: Rebeca Sánchez-Roig (L’90)

As a theatre lover, Rebeca Sánchez-Roig never imagined attending law school and opening her own firm. An immigrant from Cuba, Rebeca and her family moved around frequently. From Florida to Puerto Rico back to Florida and eventually the mid-west. Her father was a lawyer in Cuba but wanted a different career path: to become a professor. Being immigrants, both her mother and father had to restart their higher education and move where the jobs were. Rebeca and her family moved all over the mid-west from Missouri, to Iowa, Tennessee, and Illinois; by the time Rebeca graduated high school, she had attended 10 different schools.

Growing up in the mid-west, Rebeca and her siblings were one of the only

Rebeca Sánchez-Roig
Partner at Sánchez-Roig Law, P.A.

children in their schools that spoke two different language. There was a culture shock, but Rebeca was proud of who she was and where she came from. Gifted by her parents with a love of reading and learning, she immersed herself in books, movies, and learning. Her father always told her that the communist could take everything away from a person, except their education. They could never take away knowledge. Higher education, including a masters and doctorate, were not options in Rebeca’s family; these were requirements. Education was key to a successful future in life. As refugees, Rebeca’s parents could not afford to pay for their children’s college education. But that did not deter Rebeca and her siblings from getting a higher education

Rebeca started at Miami Dade Community College, where she received her Associate’s degree. She then attended Florida Atlantic University, where she made life-long friends and pursued her love of theatre. With a major in lighting design and theatre technology, Rebeca graduated with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts; and also received her Master’s in Fine Arts from the university.

Her desire to work in the theatre took her to the Florida Grand Opera, the Cincinnati Opera, and Olympia Theatre. The idea of law school was not even a thought in Rebeca’s mind until one day a stage manager for English jazz and pop singer and actor Cleo Laine, met Rebeca, and changed her life.

While working as part of the stage crews for these theatres, Rebeca was the only person with an advanced degree. When it came to reading contracts, the theatre and crew turned to Rebeca. Having higher education also gave her a leadership role, and she was quickly identified as the go-to person for reading contracts and keeping everyone informed of the terms. When Cleo Laine was set to perform, her stage manager introduced himself to Rebeca. Seeing how she was the person everyone turned to for contracts, he asked if she had ever given law school a thought. He told her he was an attorney and worked in entertainment. Rebeca thought it was interesting but did not give it any consideration until that summer.

That summer, while working at a summer camp for performers in the Catskills, the thought of law school continued to run through her mind. By the end of that summer, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in law.

Choosing a law school was not an easy task. Here she was, a theatre major with no background in the law whatsoever. Who would want such a person in law school! Rebeca applied to as many schools as she could afford, and to her surprise, she was accepted into almost all of them.

Syracuse stood out among the acceptances. She had good friends in Syracuse, and wanted to be as far away from warm weather as possible so she could focus on her studies. Not long after, Rebeca accepted Syracuse’s admission offer, and moved from sunny Florida to Syracuse.

Entering law school was a shocking experience for Rebeca; she had absolutely no idea what to expect. She had spoken with a friend who was in law school—but nothing prepared her for the actual law school experience.

Rebeca ended up taking a summer program a few weeks prior to the start of classes. Looking back, she is happy she attended the summer course because it allowed her to get a leg up on her understanding of what was to be expected in law school.

Entering law school, Rebeca knew she wanted to pursue a career in entertainment law. With her background in theatre and the stage manager’s advice in mind, her mind was set. She took some entertainment law classes and was ready to pursue a career in that field. As life would have it, Rebeca found herself, during her 2L summer, as a summer associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP in Miami. She was offered a full-time position in the labor department, but she still wished to pursue a career in entertainment law.

In her 3L year, she learned that a friend told was pursuing a career in immigration law, which surprised her because Rebeca had no idea that this area of law existed. Being an immigrant herself, she had filed most of her own paperwork, and had no clue there was a whole legal aspect behind it.

While applying to jobs, Rebeca weighed her options and decided to return to Florida where most of her family lived. She accepted the offer from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and worked there for four years as a corporate lawyer handling financial matters. Rebeca then moved to another large firm, continued work as a corporate lawyer, and added real estate attorney to her resume.

As much as she enjoyed private practice, she wished to spend more time with her family and three–year old son. She was working 12 to 15-hour days, and though she was fortunate to see her son during the day, she wanted to spend more time with him. A friend, who worked at the federal public defender’s office, told Rebeca that the Immigration and Naturalization Service was hiring. Knowing nothing of immigration law, Rebeca still applied and received an offer.

At the new job, she was given four days of training, and on the fifth she was in court defending the government on immigration issues. Her years of private practice and Law Review experience, however, helped her thrive. Within a year, she was promoted to Deputy Chief Counsel, a supervisory position, and created a training program which gave new attorneys at the office more legal training and better preparation for what was to come.

After 17 years of federal immigration prosecution work for three different administrations, Rebeca knew it was time to move on. She resigned from her position, and opened a law firm.

Rebeca now runs her own successful immigration firm, Sánchez-Roig Law, P.A. in Miami, Florida, a boutique immigration firm representing global clients in U.S. immigration matters before federal agencies and courts.

Both law school and the Law Review helped shape Rebeca into the remarkable attorney she is today. She was Managing Editor of the Law Review and uses her editing and researching skills to this day. She also took her leadership role as Managing Editor and learned how to be a trainer, mentor, and guide for new attorneys and fellow attorneys.

For Rebeca, the law is not an “I” job—it’s about cooperation, working with others, and learning every day. She firmly believes that success is in sharing knowledge, and helping others along the way. With these words in mind, Rebeca has become the successful attorney she is today.

Syracuse Law Review looks forward to recognizing Rebeca and her many accomplishments at the Law Review Banquet on April 18, 2019.

This story was written by Alumni Editor Stefani Joslin and is the eighteenth installment of Syracuse Law Review’s new monthly feature, “Alum of the Month.’ Stay tuned for next month’s feature on another noteworthy Syracuse Law Review alumnus written by our newest Alumni Editor: Gaity Hashimi.

March 2019: Andrew Bobrek (L’07)

Andy Bobrek followed a non-traditional path to law school, which started with a leap of faith motivated by a desire to live, work, and raise his family in Syracuse, New York.

Andy is a Central New Yorker through and through. Andy attended St. Lawrence University where he studied political science. After completing his undergraduate degree, Andy returned home to Syracuse and eventually worked as a staffer for Congressman Jim Walsh. Andy’s years working with Congressman Walsh were enjoyable and fulfilling, but his career path was eventually leading to Washington, DC, far away from his roots in Central New York and far away from his family and friends. Andy and his wife were committed to raising their family in Syracuse, which then led them to look at law school and a legal career as a potential means to stay in the area.

Andrew Bobrek
Partner at Bond, Shoeneck, & King, PLLC

In this regard, Andy will tell you that attending SUCOL was ultimately a very practical decision. He will also tell you that it was a great decision for his family and for his professional career. Andy followed an incremental approach to the application process, first studying for and taking the LSAT and then applying to SUCOL (and only to SUCOL), with his ultimate goal being to land a job with an established firm in Syracuse. Andy continued working part-time jobs throughout law school, but, with two young children at the time, there was still plenty of motivation to keep studying and working hard.

During his legal studies, Andy also worked part-time at the Maxwell School, where he concurrently pursued a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Andy also assisted SUCOL’s legal writing faculty – particularly Ian Gallacher – as a research assistant. Although Andy stayed busy with his family, his studies, and his work, he still found the time to be a part of the Law Review. At first, Andy was hesitant about joining Law Review because of the time commitment and his other existing responsibilities. But Andy was nevertheless honored to be invited to join Law Review and ultimately knew this was an opportunity he could not refuse; he did not want to pass on the chance to be part of the prestigious Law Review team and to better hone his editing and legal writing skills.

Being a dual-degree student, Andy was only able to take a limited number of electives while fitting-in graduation requirements and bar-related classes. And yet one such elective – Labor Law – captured his interest and helped to ignite his desire to practice in the labor and employment law arena. During his 2L year, Andy applied for a summer clerkship with firms located in Syracuse and later received an offer from Bond, Shoeneck & King, PLLC, which he readily accepted. During Andy’s summer clerkship, he rotated through Bond’s different practice areas, including its well-known labor and employment practice.

Andy enjoyed immensely his summer at Bond and was beyond impressed with talent and skills of the firm’s attorneys and staff. He was also impressed with the highly sophisticated legal work being performed and with Bond’s amazing array of clients. Most importantly, Andy was struck by the friendship and support offered by Bond’s attorneys, who all showed a genuine interest in helping him to become a successful attorney. After that summer, Andy knew that labor and employment law was his calling and that Bond was the law firm for him. In turn, he gratefully accepted an offer to become an associate attorney at Bond, where he remains to this day.

Starting as an associate attorney after graduation, Andy felt comfortable working at Bond and attributes this comfort to his studies at SUCOL, which allowed him to build the necessary skills and partake in many helpful practical experiences. Andy’s practice today entails extensive amounts of legal writing, and he credits the skills he honed as part of Law Review, along with valuable guidance from Professor Gallacher, Professor Kathleen O’Connor, and Professor Louise Lantzy, as being a key to success.

Working at Bond, Andy has enjoyed a fulfilling and successful career and was honored when he was asked to become a partner. Andy will also tell you that his enjoyment working at Bond is due, in no small part, to the close and meaningful friendships he has established with colleagues and clients along the way.

Andy is a proud and active alumnus of Syracuse. He regularly works with law school students, coaching competition teams, meeting with admitted students, and judging the popular ADR competition, which he helped to found years ago. Andy has also lectured at the Maxwell School several times since graduating. These activities have also been professionally fulfilling, and Andy encourages all alumni to stay involved and to stay in touch with Syracuse as best they can.

What started as a leap of faith for Andy – uncertain of how he would manage a family, work, and school all at once – has turned into a successful legal career. By staying balanced and keeping his goals in mind, and with the help of his wife and his family, Andy has been able to stay close to his Central New York roots. And he remains deeply appreciative for everything he learned while attending SUCOL.

This story was written by Alumni Editor Stefani Joslin and is the seventeenth installment of Syracuse Law Review’s new monthly feature, “Alum of the Month.’ Stay tuned for next month’s feature on another noteworthy Syracuse Law Review alumnus.

February 2019: Gregory Thornton (L’71)

Gregory Thornton always knew he wanted to work in a professional field. While in undergrad at Colgate University, Greg started out as a pre-med major. He soon realized that medicine was not his forte and turned to his love for literature and history. Greg changed his major to English with a minor in philosophy. While he enjoyed his major, he still had a desire to work in a professional field and wanted to have an array of opportunities, so Greg applied to law schools.

Gregory Thornton
Retired Senior VP of Operations and Employee Relations, Boston Globe

During his time as in undergrad, Greg met his now wife while she was finishing up her studies at Elmira College. Greg applied to Syracuse and was able to start law school while his wife finished up her final year of undergrad.

Greg’s started law school like most other law students, he had no idea what type of law he wished to study. During his second year, Greg had the opportunity of taking labor courses with  Professor Robert Koritz and devolved an interest in labor law. Greg loved this area of the law and the opportunity it gave him to use his own creativity to solve labor relations issues especially in collective bargaining. With the love of labor law in mind, Greg applied for clerk positions in firms around upstate New York that had labor practice.

Greg ended up clerking at Hinman, Howard, & Kattell in Binghamton and Blitman & King, LLP in Syracuse. These two firms allowed Greg to get some experience in labor law practice during his time at law school. He was able to get a sense of both the union side and the management side of labor relations; an experience that Greg would soon use in his legal career.

Finding a job after graduation was no easy task back then. Greg contacted firms on his own, set up his own interviews, and mailed out inquiries and resumes to over a hundred firms. His final year of law school was spent taking trips all over upstate New York, Connecticut, and North Carolina applying to various firms with labor practice departments. Greg’s hard work paid off and he accepted a position at Pullman, Comley, Bradley, and Reeves (now known as Pullman & Comley, LLC) in Connecticut. Greg was particularly excited about starting work there since the firm had an extensive labor practice. After graduating in 1971, Greg and his wife packed up their bags and left Syracuse and headed to Connecticut. Greg was admitted to Connecticut Bar that year.

While at the firm, Greg worked as an associate under Dwight Fanton who at the time was the head of the labor practice at the firm. Dwight had a number of clients including several Connecticut newspapers. Greg worked with Dwight and, after about a year at the firm, ended up doing labor work and negotiating contracts with clients himself- a fast track opportunity for only being a year out of law school. He also had the advantage of practicing under a supportive mentor in Dwight Fanton.

His time at Pullman, Comley, Bradley, and Reeves brought him in contact with the Gannett Co., a national newspaper chain that published more than a hundred newspapers all over the country with more than 150 labor contracts across the chain. This contact with Gannett turned into a job offer and was only the beginning of Greg’s fulfilling legal career, working with a wide vary of newspapers. Greg took the opportunity with Gannett and once again, he and his wife packed up their bags and headed to Rochester.

While at Gannett, Greg was admitted to the United States Federal District Court and the Sixth Circuit and Second the Court of Appeals, and ultimately the United States Supreme Court- though his one case there only went as far as being denied certiorari. As Director of Labor Relations and Labor Counsel for Gannett, Greg represented Gannett before the National Labor Relations Board and various state human right agencies. The papers Greg represented in negotiations and labor manners ranged all over the country from New York to Michigan to California to even Hawaii.

He truly enjoyed seeing how labor/ management relations worked all over the country. One instance in particular Greg remembers was his time in Hawaii. Greg was in Hawaii negotiating contracts for almost three months. The labor relations atmosphere there were vastly different than on the “mainland”. There were no suit and ties worn, deals would often be made over group meals, and sometimes “off the record” meetings were even held in huts on the beach.

Though Gannett was a great experience, the traveling started to take a toll. Greg wanted more time with his family. Representatives of the Chicago Tribune Company contacted him about a position with the New York Daily News. Greg ended up taking up this new opportunity with the Daily News in New York City. During this time, newspapers began to start to feel the effects of dramatic changes in the industry with automation and the internet. There were strikes, threats of closing, and massive consolidations were needed. This was especially true at the Daily News. Greg and those he worked with dealt with tough negotiations and concession agreements between the unions and the owners of the newspaper. With hard work, Greg was able to work through these problems and ended up receiving special recognition by the Tribune Company with the Robert Reneker Award for Outstanding Newspaper Executive of the Year in 1983.

In 1988, Greg received an opportunity to join the Boston Globe. He met with Bill Taylor, the then chairman and publisher. An agreement was reached, and Greg became the Vice President of Employment Relations. He was the Chief Spokesman for all the negotiations for the Boston Globe. Greg became very involved with the Globe on these issues and continued working on them during the transitioning when the New York Times bought the company in 1994, ultimately dealing with a huge revenue loss in 2008 as a result of declining revenues. Greg came up with plans to negotiate the needed changes to the labor contracts to help get the company back on track and in “the black”. Greg ended up being a recipient of the Cushing-Gavin Award in 2002 for his outstanding labor union/ management work. During his time at the Globe, Greg became Senior Vice President of Operations and Employee Relations and became responsible for the Globe’s printing operation as well as all of its plants in addition to the labor negotiations.

After 22 years of working with the Globe, Greg retired in 2010, although he continued for two more years in a consulting capacity. Now, Greg, his wife, and children enjoy their new snowbird home in Florida during the winters. Greg is grateful of all the opportunities his career has given him and gives extensive gratitude towards his wife for being his biggest supporter. Greg’s time on Law Review and his education from law school helped guide him during his career path. When looking into an initial positions, Greg encourages students not only to look at the compensation, but also to look at the hands-on opportunity and the mentorship support the position may offer.

This story was written by Alumni Editor Stefani Joslin and is the sixteenth installment of Syracuse Law Review’s new monthly feature, “Alum of the Month.’ Stay tuned for next month’s feature on another noteworthy Syracuse Law Review alumnus.

January 2019: Hon. Bernadette Romano Clark (L’89)

“Are you sure you can run for Judge?” This is a question the Honorable Bernadette Romano Clark heard numerous times. As the first female to run for a judicial position in Oneida County, Bernadette faced many adversities. Though she faced difficulties, Bernadette became the first female judge from Oneida County and eventually made her way to become the first female Supreme Court Judge for the Fifth Judicial District of New York from Oneida County.

Growing up in Utica, Bernadette or Bernie, as she is known, loved her community. She had so much support and a loving family and knew eventually she wanted to give back to the community that raised her. Bernadette went to

Hon. Bernadette Romano Clark
NY State Supreme Court

St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in political science, cum laude. She always knew she wanted to go to law school.

Although she planned on attending law school, after graduation from St. Mary’s, Bernie ended up working for 12 years back in Utica at a pharmaceutical company in the sales and marketing department. Bernie enjoyed the opportunities and experiences in her new position especially traveling across the country and the challenges associated with the art of persuasion and sales.

Then in 1984, Bernie’s brother graduated from the Syracuse College of Law. As soon as her brother’s graduation ceremony was over, Bernie wasted no time and immediately started her law school application process. Though she took some time off, her love for the law never waned. Since she was already married and living back home in Utica, Bernie applied to Syracuse College of Law.

Being out of school for 12 years made the transition into law school a little difficult. Instead of letting the difficulty get the best of her, Bernie decided to embrace all law school had to offer. She knew going into law school she wanted to make a difference and was very determined to accomplish her goals. Bernie joined as many organizations and clubs as she could from trial and appellate teams to Law Review. She even went on to be the Student Senate President and a member of Justinian Honorary Law Society during her 3L year.

The Law Review and trial and appellate teams really helped Bernie shape her career. As a “write on” to the Law Review, Bernie was able to truly hone in on her legal writing skills and ended up having her Note, Is the New Standard for the Fourth Amendment Particularity Requirement in Obscenity Cases “I know It when I Seize It”?, published in Volume 39. When elected Technical Editor for the New York Survey, Bernie was also able to improve her legal citation skills.

Bernie also took advantage of the advocacy programs and enhanced her legal argument skills by being on both a trial and appellate team. Bernie wanted the full law school experience in order to embrace and learn as much as she could to truly prepare herself for the legal work force.

After graduating magna cum laude, Bernie went to work at Bond, Schoeneck & King. Her time there allowed her to improve her skills rotating through all the firm’s departments and receiving exceptional training. While she took great pride in her work at Bond, Schoeneck & King, she was commuting one hundred miles each day which was difficult being a new mother with a baby girl.

In 1994, the District Attorney of Oneida County offered her the position as First Assistant District Attorney. Although she hesitated initially, since she had never practiced in the criminal law field, Bernie accepted the position when she learned she would be the first woman ever to hold that office. Being a prosecutor became Bernie’s passion. She loved to help people and see the tangible results that made a difference in the lives of so many in her community. Her time as a prosecutor really sparked her interest in running for a judicial position.

When a seat opened up in Family Court, Bernie started her campaign and became the first elected female judge for Oneida County in November 2000. Especially as mother, Bernie took her work home with her every night. She felt the hardships and was shocked to learn about the tragedies that children were facing in her home county. Bernie spent five years as a Family Court Judge, and it was the “toughest job she ever loved.” Those with political power in Oneida County were not convinced a women should be a judge. When a seat opened up in the Supreme Court for the Fifth Judicial District, Bernie decided to run, Bernie was not deterred, she wanted to open the doors and show women that they were qualified for these positions and should not be afraid to run. As a female judicial candidate for the highest trial court in the state, Bernie faced a lot of backlash and comments. Questions were asked about her hair, makeup, and clothes. This did not discourage Bernie, it only motivated her to continue to push forward. Using her experiences from law school and speaking about her achievements, in November 2005, Bernie became the first female judge for the Fifth Judicial District of New York. Bernie’s election opened the door and inspired more women to run for judicial positions and there are currently two other female judges in Oneida County.

Being a Supreme Court Justice is no easy task. She hears a variety of cases from medical malpractice, contract disputes, property issues, election law cases, serious accident claims, and many more. Having to make split second decisions throughout the trial regarding evidentiary issues or jury charges has its difficulties but Bernie enjoys the challenge. She loves the excitement of the trials and writing her well-thought decisions. In 2006, Bernie established the Oneida County Domestic Violence Court which she presided over until 2009. Her term as a Supreme Court Justice will be ending in December of this year but Bernie is planning to seek another term.

If you ask Bernie what her favorite part of law school was, the answers will be endless. Her time at Syracuse prepared her fully for the legal world and gave her all the tools she needed. Law Review gave her close friends that she still keeps in touch with. She has had a variety of legal experiences from working in firms to being a Supreme Court Justice, all thanks to her beloved Syracuse College of Law. The collegial atmosphere, the professor’s open-door policies, and the rigorous training at the law school helped shape Bernie to be the successful woman she is today. Her advice for students? Take advantage of all the opportunities the school has to offer, enhance not just one set of skills, enhance them all.

This story was written by Alumni Editor Stefani Joslin and is the fifteenth installment of Syracuse Law Review’s new monthly feature, “Alum of the Month.’ Stay tuned for next month’s feature on another noteworthy Syracuse Law Review alumnus.

December 2018: Kenneth W. Irvin (L’92)

From an early age, Kenneth Irvin knew he had a calling for a career in the law. His mother worked as a secretary in a law firm, and he became friends with the lawyers at the firm.  Ken was intrigued by the world of law and used his passion to become the successful lawyer he is today.

Kenneth W. Irwin
Sidley Austin, LLP

As an engineer major, Ken was never afraid of a challenge. After graduating from Clarkson University, Ken worked for three years as sale engineer for Weidmuller, a company in Richmond, Virginia that manufactures and sells electrical connectors and terminal blocks for industrial applications and controls. Though Ken enjoyed the work he was doing, something was missing; he wanted to do something more rewarding and enriching. As an inquisitive child who often asked ‘why,’ Ken was counseled by many to pursue a career in law. With this advice in mind, Ken found himself applying to law school and drawn to the reputation of Syracuse. Two of the lawyers at his mother’s law office were Syracuse alumni who had nothing but praise for the school.  Ken soon packed his bags and headed to Syracuse.

Given his undergraduate degree in engineering, many folks thought Ken pursued a law degree to enter the field of patent law. From his days as a sales engineer, however, Ken found a love for presenting a case and persuading others- hence the courtroom beckoned and Ken aimed to be a commercial litigator. Ken really enjoyed Civil Procedure, Evidence, Trial Practice, and all the classes that dealt with being inside a courtroom. Ken participated in two trial competitions on environmental law as well.

Though he had a love for the excitement of a courtroom, Ken also found a calling to serve on the Law Review. As the Technical Editor, Ken was in charge of making sure the citations were proper and confirmed with the Bluebook standards. The best part to Ken for serving on the Law Review was the collaborative spirit of the organization.

Ken truly enjoyed his time at Syracuse, and he’s grateful for all the professors he came to know.  Several professors offered personal guidance about how to navigate law school and launch a career successfully. One professor in particular, Professor Richard Goldsmith, became an outstanding mentor. “Spike” as Professor Goldsmith was nicknamed had a razor-sharp wit and way of teaching that was loud and enthusiastic. The ‘tough nuggies’ rule was a favorite of Professor Goldsmith, who passed away in 2008. Ken enjoyed him as a professor and even went on to be his research assistant. When graduation came, Ken went on to pursue a legal career in litigation.

Graduating in 1992, for the next eight to ten years, Kenneth practiced predominantly in litigation. Initially, Ken worked for the same firm as his mom, and that role helped as outside counsel for the City of Rome, NY. One case in particular he remembers fondly was one that involved a mule getting lose and being hit by a car, which injured the driver. Ken helped the City successfully defend itself from liability by showing that NY law applied the “every dog gets one free bite” to mules that “jump a paddock fence.”

In 1993, Kenneth made his way from New York to Washington D.C. He worked at a small firm at first through Syracuse Law alumni connections, and then went to Morrison & Foerster LLP as a lateral associate. Ascending to partner in 2000, Ken saw his practice evolve from a litigation focus to a transactional and regulatory focus in the energy industry. In 2005, Ken joined the energy practice group at McDermott Will & Emery LLP.  His work for energy clients then lead him to Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP in 2011, and then to Sidley Austin LLP in 2015, where he practices today.

Through his litigation experience, Ken was exposed to the word of telecommunications and energy. Ken became extremely interested in energy law and made a transition from just helping people in court to actually creating transactions. The idea that people use electricity every day and do not always think about how it works fascinated Ken. Now, he is a partner at Sidley in D.C. working on the things he loves. The work Ken does now is helping with reliable, affordable energy, and global climate change by helping to foster the role for renewable energy. Though the work could take years, supplying our needs for electrical energy through renewable sources is attainable goal. With that in mind, Ken and his practice team work to help make renewable energy affordable for everyone.

Ken truly enjoys the work he does now and loves being a part of something that helps make lives for everyone better. Ken’s experience in law school helped shape him to the hard working lawyer he is today. Syracuse pushed him and made him realize that the legal world is about learning and really gaining knowledge on what you are learning.

One advice he gives to students is to go out there and try different careers. The point of finding what you love is to see what is out there first. As Abraham Lincoln said: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Find good mentors, and take value into grades and what you learn; hard work pays off and will land job opportunities.

This story was written by Alumni Editor Stefani Joslin and is the fourteenth installment of Syracuse Law Review’s new monthly feature, “Alum of the Month.’ Stay tuned for next month’s feature on another noteworthy Syracuse Law Review alumnus.

November 2018: Laurel J. Eveleigh (L’90)

Laurel Eveleigh knew from a young age that she wanted to be a lawyer, but her path to law school was not exactly a straight one.  Trying to dispel the popular notion that practicing law was predominantly Perry Mason moments and dramatic courtroom conflict, her high school counselor (and favorite English teacher) pointed out that lawyers had to be strong writers and spent far more time in the library than the courtroom.  Taking that into consideration, Laurel put the notion of pre-law undergraduate studies, followed by law school, on the back burner for a bit.

Laurel J. Eveleigh Alario & Fischer, P.C.

Laurel went to Syracuse University for undergrad and majored in Interdisciplinary Linguistic Studies, which allowed her to pursue her love and affinity for foreign languages and study the science of language structure, evolution and acquisition.  Through her major, Laurel continued to study French (which she had been taking since junior high) and took courses in Spanish, German, Latin and Russian.  While she thought she might pursue a career putting her  language skills to use, when graduation came, a very different opportunity arose and she ended up, at least temporarily, taking another path.

For two summers in college, Laurel had worked temporary jobs for a company that installed computer systems and built specialized data bases throughout the country.  At first she did data input, but later managed the data processing team and the office.  When the company left Syracuse to install its next system in Rochester, they asked her to come with them.   Later, they asked her to interview with them at their McLean, Virginia headquarters for a job after graduation.  Ultimately, they hired her as a trainer and, eventually, Laurel was promoted to work with programmers and users to develop new products for the real estate industry.  After six years, she was recruited by a telecommunications company in Connecticut to do similar work in new product development.

Eventually, Laurel realized that while her work was challenging and interesting, something was missing.  With that thought in mind, she began, once again, to explore the idea of law school.

At first, Laurel looked at part-time law programs so she could continue to work and support herself.  It wasn’t long, though, before she realized that the choice of law school has implications throughout your legal career.  She dismissed the idea of going to school part time, applied to multiple schools and found herself looking very favorably at Syracuse.  She was drawn to the excellence of the school, the success of its alumni and its competitive atmosphere.  With her parents still living in Syracuse it seemed a perfect fit, so Laurel packed her bags and moved back home.

Like many students going into law school, Laurel didn’t know what substantive area of law she wanted to practice but she was sure of two things:  she wanted to be on the Law Review and she wanted to be a litigator.  She knew that Law Review would help her to hone those vitally important research and writing skills and prepare her to be competitive in the job market.  While on Law Review, Laurel wrote her Note about the rights of unwed fathers.  Even though Laurel did not intend to practice family law, there were some cases percolating through the courts and she was intrigued by the knotty issues and competing social and political interests.  Laurel’s Note, Certainly Not Child’s Play: A Serious Game of Hide and Seek With the Rights of Unwed Fathers, was published in Volume 40 of the Law Review.

Laurel was also active in Moot Court.  She and her partner made it to the semi-finals of the intramural Lewis Appellate Competition and won the “Best Brief” award.  As a 2L, she was also selected for the National Appellate Team, coached by Professor Christian Day.  At the end of her 2L year, Laurel’s fellow Law Review members pushed her to run for Editor-in-Chief.  She won the Editor-in-Chief position for Volume 41 and, wanting to put all she had into it, decided not to participate in Moot Court competitions as a 3L.

After graduating summa cum laude from the College of Law, Laurel ended up packing her bags yet again and moving to Washington, D.C. to work for the firm she clerked for as a 2L, Crowell & Moring.  She picked Crowell & Moring because it was the least “big firm like” of all the firms she interviewed with.  Laurel loved the atmosphere – it was a light hearted and welcoming place. But, as much as she loved the firm, she quickly figured out that a big firm was simply not for her.  After about a year, she started interviewing around D.C. with boutique litigation firms, but before making a move, Laurel got a phone call from Professor Gary Kelder.  Professor Kelder had been asked by the managing partner of an environmental and litigation firm in Syracuse if he knew of any promising young lawyers who might be a good fit.  Professor Kelder had recommended Laurel.  She interviewed with Devorsetz, Stinziano, Gilberti, Heintz & Smith and was offered the job.  For the last time, Laurel packed her bags and moved back to Syracuse.  She was with the firm from 1991-2006, first as an associate, then as a partner.

While at the Devorsetz firm, Laurel worked on large-scale litigation matters and delivered many successes.  In the wake of 9/11, Laurel was co-project manager of the environmental review for a statewide wireless network for emergency first responders – the largest contract ever let by the State of New York at that time.  She was environmental counsel for the cellular telephone company that won the FCC license for the initial buildout of cellular service in the New York Metropolitan, New England, and Pennsylvania service areas.  She secured significant brownfields program credits for a major mixed-use development in Central New York.  She provided testimony before the State Public Service Commission on behalf of cellular service providers.  She represented heavy industrial entities (including quarries, waste management facilities, cogeneration plants and manufacturing concerns) to secure permits and rights to build and, where required, litigated her clients’ rights to approvals when they were improperly denied.  Laurel also devoted significant time to developing young lawyers’ skills, mentoring junior attorneys and recruiting new and lateral hire attorneys.

She left the firm in 2006 to set up her own practice – seeking to provide “big firm” quality legal work to smaller businesses and individuals.  One of her frustrations had been that smaller companies or individuals with valid claims simply could not afford to litigate because the legal fees made it uneconomical.  Laurel wanted to provide an alternative to a larger firm that could provide high quality legal representation at lower cost.  Laurel also provided contract legal services to her former firm and other firms as well.

One of those firms, it turns out, was Alario & Fischer, P.C.  In early 2014, Laurel got a phone call from Chris Fischer, a former colleague at the Devorsetz firm, to refer a case to her.  Shortly thereafter, Mr. Fischer asked her to work on several projects with his office.  A year later, Laurel took a job with the firm and continues to practice there today doing construction and land use litigation.

Laurel is also active in the local legal community.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Central New York Women’s Bar Association and is its 2019-20 President-Elect.  She is also a member of the CNYWBA’s Judicial Review Committee.  She belongs to the Onondaga County and New York State Bar Associations.  Laurel has been an adjunct at the College of Law, first in collaboration with Professor Kelder teaching a seminar on environmental crimes and, more recently, teaching the introductory Environmental Law course to 2Ls and 3Ls.

Laurel says the decision to go to law school was the best decision she ever made.  And, somewhat ironically, the things Laurel loves best about the practice of law and the skills she is known best for among her colleagues, are research and writing.

Looking back, Laurel remembers her time at Syracuse Law fondly. She greatly admires Professor Kelder for his ability to look at the law from so many perspectives and communicate it to students in a way that makes sense – in fact, while she was in law school, she took every course that Professor Kelder taught.  Laurel has incredible respect for Professors William Wiecek (who was the Law Review advisor at the time), William Banks and Travis Lewin, among others.  Professor Christian Day, coach of the National Appellate Team and another influential figure, pushed and cajoled and inspired the team to excellence.  She loved the Libel Show where all the law school clubs, organizations, and faculty performed skits or musical numbers, including the Law Review’s very own rendition of the B-52s’ “Love Shack” (“Law Shack”) during her 3L year.  To this day, Laurel still keeps in touch with her Lewis Appellate Competition partner and members of her e-board on the Law Review as well as many other law school classmates.

If there is one piece of advice Laurel would give to students, it would be to really appreciate the opportunity law school offers.  She says, in practice, rarely do you have the luxury of totally immersing yourself in a particular subject, keeping abreast of all the most recent developments in the Supreme Court or following a line of cases simply because it’s interesting.  She hopes the current College of Law students will savor the moment and soak in everything they can.

This story was written by Alumni Editor Stefani Joslin and is the thirteenth installment of Syracuse Law Review’s new monthly feature, “Alum of the Month.” Stay tuned for next month’s feature on another noteworthy Syracuse Law Review alumnus.

 

October 2018: Thomas Zampino (L’85)

While the law school experience has always been critical to our training as both strong client advocates and skilled legal technicians, it often undercuts or discounts the very reason that many of us were first drawn to the profession – service. Service to our clients, service to the community, service to our profession.

For 1985 alumnus Tom Zampino, that initial attraction to service was only reinforced in his first year by property law professor, Sam Fetters. Tom still remembers Professor Fetters’ exhortations that lawyers are an integral part of a much larger community. Professor Fetters reiterated for students to remain mindful of the out-sized power and influence lawyers exert within it and over others. The law, after all, affects nearly every aspect of our lives every single day.

Before starting Syracuse Law in 1982, this Long Island native, attended SUNY at Stony Brook, majoring in political science and minoring in business administration. During his junior year at Stony Brook, Tom’s business law class, taught by adjunct Professor Elliot Kleinman, rekindled his strong and early interest in the law. He later served as an intern at Kleinman’s general practice law firm for a number of months, all but cementing his love of the profession.

Upon graduating in 1981, Tom took a year off before applying to multiple

Thomas Zampino Special Counsel Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP

law schools, mostly so that he could save some money and fully prepare for the LSAT. It paid off. Syracuse University awarded Tom a Graduate Fellowship, allowing him to attend the law school for two years completely tuition free. It also supplied a modest living stipend during those two years. Tom remains grateful to Syracuse University because, without that Graduate Fellowship and stipend, he likely would never have been able to afford those three years.

Like most law students, Tom had no idea of the type of law that he wanted to practice. Like  many of his fellow classmates, he was excited to hear Professor Peter Bell talking about the then-starting salaries of New York City, big-firm associates. He immediately began to plan his strategy to look for a job back home.

But before heading back home, Tom first had to plan for his 1L summer. Syracuse’s Law in London Program seemed ideal and he signed up for this seven-week, international legal adventure. While in London, Tom first worked with solicitors at the Greater London Council (GLC), which at that time was part of London’s municipal governing structure. He later interned with prestigious Queens Counsel barristers, regularly attending court and observing the lawyers and judges sparring in full legal regalia, wigs and all.

The Law in London program gave Tom a broad overview of the current British and early American legal system. But perhaps his fondest memory there was meeting with actor Raymond Burr, who was then starring in a local production. Tom and several of his classmates waited patiently by the stage door and, much to their delight, Mr. Perry Mason himself spent a good long time speaking with these impressionable American law students. Perhaps no one had had a greater and earlier influence over Tom’s choice of a legal career than did the fictional Perry Mason. The circle was now complete.

Upon returning to law school for his second year, Tom wrote onto the Law Review. The research and writing skills learned

(and self-taught) there have proved invaluable. It’s an experience that Tom looks back on with a sense of accomplishment.

          Tom’s 2L summer was spent in NYC working for a mid-sized, Park Avenue firm as a summer associate for Reavis & McGrath, which today, after several mergers, is known as Norton Rose Fulbright. At the end of that summer, Reavis & McGrath offered him a full-time position upon graduation. He immediately accepted.

After graduating from Syracuse with honors in 1985 and passing the NYS bar, Tom worked at Reavis & McGrath for the next 20 or so months, concentrating in corporate and securities law. Because his wife Rachel had then gotten into Harvard Law School, they together re-settled in Boston for what turned out to be the next six years. Of course, that meant that Tom had to take another bar exam, but one that he found, relatively and gratefully, to be just a bit easier than the NYS bar.

In Boston, Tom first worked at Goodwin Proctor & Hoar, now just “Goodwin,” in its corporate and healthcare departments. After two years there and seeking a change, Tom noticed an opening on the legal staff of the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission. He was offered and immediately accepted that position where he then worked for the next four years drafting and defending government employee ethics opinions. He served for a time as both Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel.

The most significant Ethics Commission case that Tom defended in court concerned the applicability of the Commission’s authority over employees of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), a matter that was quickly taken up by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court because of its broad and highly publicized impact. Tom’s first and only outing before that august body remains today a highlight of his legal career, having withstood a very hot bench and walking away unscathed. While the Court ultimately ruled against the Commission’s assertion of authority over MBTA employees, the Court did adopt most of the jurisdictional test that Tom himself had crafted from other government sources and then argued should apply in the case before it. Before leaving the Commission, Tom published a book on its practices and procedures.

After six years in Massachusetts, family concerns were calling him back to New York. Not wanting to return to the big firm, corporate life, Tom reached out to a small boutique firm that specialized in NYC real estate taxes, Podell, Schwartz, Schechter & Banfield. He spent the next 24 years there, the last ten as a partner. A brief stint as a (losing) candidate for the NYS Assembly rounded out his years there.

In 2017, an exciting opportunity opened that allowed him to step back into big firm life but still practice in the small, highly defined specialty that he has grown to love. As Special Counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, located near Wall Street, Tom gets to work with some extraordinary colleagues across multiple disciplines and to represent many top notch, sophisticated, super-premier clients. He now has the best of both worlds.

Tom’s legal training has held him in good stead throughout the years. While his practice mostly involves the world of numbers rather than of words, he stills largely credits Law Review with his love of writing; something to which he has devoted more and more time as he now explores the delights of writing poetry (perhaps one day to be published).

His advice to law students? Remembering what Sam Fetters admonished his class all those years ago: always be mindful of the influence that we, as lawyers, exert over others. It is a great opportunity but an even greater responsibility. And keep in mind that we are a service industry. We are here to zealously serve both our clients and the legal community. But know that we are always at our most effective when we treat each other – colleagues, clients, and adversaries – with respect, dignity, and civility at all times and in every encounter.

This story was written by Alumni Editor Stefani Joslin and is the twelfth installment of Syracuse Law Review’s new monthly feature, “Alum of the Month.” Stay tuned for next month’s feature on another noteworthy Syracuse Law Review alumnus.

September 2018: Jean Macchiaroli Eggen (82’) Alumna of the Month

It was 9 o’clock in the morning, and demolition on the old football stadium had begun just a few feet away from the Law School. The site would become the Carrier Dome. First-year law student, Jean Macchiaroli was sitting in Torts, and Professor Peter Bell was sitting cross-legged on the desk, giving the class a hypothetical to discuss. She was taking it all in that morning, but little did she know just how much this class would impact her career in the legal profession. As a student who was previously ready to pursue a career in art history, Jean found herself instead in the world of torts and civil procedure.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in French literature from Connecticut College, Jean received her M.A. in art history from Michigan State University. She ended up developing a love for art history and was ready to dive deeper into that world, so she set off as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan, focusing on the iconography of 15th Century Northern Renaissance painting. At both Michigan and Michigan State, she held positions as a teaching assistant – lecturing, leading discussion sections, and writing and grading exams. While working on her Ph.D. dissertation, she found herself wanting to do something current that would “change people’s lives.” While considering law school, Jean traveled once to visit a friend at Syracuse Law – another former Michigan art history Ph.D. student. She was pleasantly surprised by the welcoming and diverse campus. She noted that the students ranged in age, race, and gender, and it was then that she knew Syracuse Law was where she wanted to be. Soon, Jean was packing her bags and headed for New York to pursue a career in the law.

When entering Syracuse Law, Jean knew that her academic background would make her a good fit for the Law Review. She loved being a part of this organization and working with her fellow members, particularly Managing Editor and sidekick Steve Shaw. Jean ended up taking her love of the Law Review to become the Editor in Chief of Volume 33. Her Law Review note on criminal procedure and evidence was selected for publication. Amidst her work on Law Review, Jean also participated in the Moot Court Society’s annual Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition. Despite being a 2L, who had not yet taken the Evidence course, Jean and her partner were determined to “soldier on.” With dreams of one day becoming a trial attorney, and the will to win, the 2L duo made it all the way to the finals, before placing runner-up.

Grossman was only the beginning for Jean. One of her favorite classes was Trial Practice with Professor Travis Lewin. Jean loved the controversial cases and the sensitive topics that Professor Lewin chose, mostly dealing with Criminal Law and product liability. She appreciated his broad focus on all aspects of litigation, not just the trial itself. She remembers practicing a particularly challenging voir dire with undergrad students as the jurors. Jean used her experience from this class to pursue her interest in becoming a trial attorney. After graduating magna cum lade, Jean went on to work in the litigation department at Bond, Schoeneck, & King, PLLC in Syracuse.

Jean’s role as Editor in Chief gave her the confidence level and writing skills needed for the legal profession. She recalls a judge ruling against her on a summary judgment motion, but taking time in open court to compliment her on the excellence of her brief. She remembers thinking that maybe that judge would give her brief extra attention in the next case and be persuaded by her argument. Eventually, Jean’s professional goals shifted, however. She longed to reach a larger group of people through teaching and scholarly writing. She had loved law school and the exchange of ideas in a dynamic environment. Becoming a law professor was the next logical step; her job search resulted in being hired by Delaware Law School.

Jean’s arrival at Delaware Law School brought some significant challenges. She taught her first class as a law professor while seven months pregnant and became the first professor at the law school to give birth during the academic year. There was no precedent, and she was on her own to manage her classes and her writing and service responsibilities. Although much has changed since then, some of the old attitudes have remained in the profession, as her former students have reported. For women entering the legal profession, she emphasizes “the need for strong support systems, both inside and outside the workplace. Trusted mentors and sponsors – female or male – can help navigate any choppy professional waters.”

In her first year of teaching, Jean taught Civil Procedure and Environmental Law. The next year she developed a new course, a Toxic Torts course. The field was brand new, with no casebooks, so she put together a large set of reading materials for the students. She also reached out to Professor Bell for advisement; she says he was very generous with the materials he had on the subject. But toxic torts was a new, up-and-coming educational topic, one that was taught at few law schools in the nation at the time, so there was little to build upon. Jean says that, upon developing the course, there were very few decisions that related to toxic torts in her first years of teaching. The groundwater pollution case that inspired both the book and movie, A Civil Action, had recently settled during trial, but unfortunately was under a “gag agreement” at the time. Consequently, Jean had her students read the few briefs and decisions available, most having to deal with “Agent Orange.” The experience of developing the reading materials was galvanizing, and Jean felt that she knew every aspect of the subject after researching the new cases each year. Over time, toxic torts would become a major subject of litigation, with an explosion of judicial decisions, and a key subject of legal education around the country.

Jean’s scholarly writings demonstrate her expertise and interest in a broad diversity of topics. Some of her scholarly pieces have been on such subjects as neuroscience and tort law, mass torts, scientific evidence, nanotechnology, federal preemption in product liability actions, reproductive and genetic hazards in the workplace, toxic torts at Ground Zero, and various procedural issues in medical malpractice and toxic tort litigation. Her book, West’s Toxic Torts in a Nutshell, has a 6th edition being released in October. While Jean served as one of the trailblazers who helped to create a path for legal curriculum in the field of toxic torts, Jean also taught a variety of other classes. In 2002, she began teaching first-year Torts, and has also taught upper-level Civil Procedure, Environmental Law, Tobacco and the Law, Science and the Law, and New York Civil Practice. Jean’s law school service included five years as chair of the Tenure Committee, membership on the elected Faculty Executive Committee, and membership on the Strategic Planning Committee. And yes, she spent several years as advisor to the law review.

Jean continues to highly value the arts as important to our culture and our humanity, and moving on from art history did not diminish her interest or participation in the arts. She has had a long affiliation with the Wilmington Drama League, a community theater, where she served on the board and as VP of Artistic Development. In addition, she has directed several mainstage productions at WDL, as well as plays in the one-act play festival. She writes plays, and one of her original plays won the WDL one-act festival.

Recently, Jean retired from Delaware Law School (now officially Widener University Delaware Law School) and is now a Distinguished Emerita Professor. In what proved to be a storied career, Jean was a two-time recipient of the Douglas E. Ray Excellence in Faculty Scholarship Award and received a writing award from the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. She is still engaged in scholarly writing and consulting.

Looking back, Jean says one of the most rewarding experiences she had as a professor was seeing her students “go out and shine.” Just as she formed a bond with her former professor, Peter Bell, Jean says she loves when her former students reach out to her and fill her in on their progress. She says, “Teaching allows us to touch the future, and I can think of nothing more satisfying and inspiring than seeing my law students succeed in the legal profession and pass along their knowledge to the next generation.”

May 2018: Edward Bibko (L’94)

Edward Bibko was born and raised in Phoenix, New York, a tiny village with just over 2,000 people. He had his sights set on getting out but didn’t know yet what the world had to offer. He never imagined that he would become European general counsel at a global investment banking firm in London, England.

Edward Bibko                                     Acting General Counsel for EMEA and Asia

It all began with his brother’s pursuit of engineering. “I thought, ‘I could do that!’” he said. But after some time studying engineering, Edward decided he wasn’t too intrigued by the science. So, he changed majors and graduated from the University of Vermont in 1989 with a degree in Finance.

Following graduation, he began working for IBM as a financial analyst. IBM offered Edward an exciting opportunity and a great start in his professional career, so he spent over a year there. But again, Edward decided he really didn’t like numbers in general. Having eliminated two professions, he thought about law. He didn’t really know what lawyers did, apart from what he’d seen on TV shows of lawyers. Nevertheless, Edward was ready to find out for himself what it was really like and how he could make his own impact. So, in 1991, Edward set off to begin law school at Syracuse University College of Law.

He was invited to become a member of Syracuse Law Review Volume 43 and was thereafter elected by his peers as the Managing Editor of Volume 44.

“[Law school has] so many amazing, intelligent people, and to have the support of your peers and to be elected to [Managing Editor] was a tremendous confidence boost,” he said. “I think that inspired me to set my sights a bit higher.”

Edward was a commuting student, and busy with Law Review work, but he took advantage of the opportunities available to him. He recalls participating in the ‘Lawyers in the Classroom’ program, where he’d visit inner-city high schools and talk about the law, trying to make it interesting for 15 to 18-year-olds by teaching cases with “wild fact patterns.” He also spent all of his first summer and part of his second summer at the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where he got to be a hands-on participant in a variety of cases.

Likely the most impactful experience of his law school career, however, was the consequence of reading an ad that led to a trip to Cambridge, England.

“In between my second and third years of law school, a good friend and I were just waiting for a class to start and leafing through one of the legal magazines,” he said. “There was an ad on the back of it that said, ‘Study in England . . . because everyone should have at least one great time in law school.’ Convinced, we went to Cambridge, and that’s actually where I met my wife, who is from Chicago, at the Spread Eagle Pub. It was a tremendous time, really studying European law and also the history of law. So, when I came back, there were two consequences from that: I ended up marrying my now wife, [and] it made me think maybe I wanted to do something international.”

The trip to England was the start to an exciting career ahead for Edward, but he didn’t head to London just yet. He first began his legal career, upon graduation in 1994, in New York City, where he worked as a litigator at the firm of a Syracuse alumnus. While there, the prospect of one day living in England remained prevalent, so Edward kept his options open.

“I found some used books and studied for the British Bar,” he said, “and I took that in 1997 while I was in New York. Then, when my wife said she couldn’t quite get used to New York, we moved to Chicago.”

Upon the move to Chicago, Edward found an attorney position with Sam Zell, former owner of the Chicago Cubs professional baseball team. Zell had “his own law firm with 45 lawyers” that focused solely on his legal needs, and Edward was one of them. After a couple of years, however, a new opportunity arose.

“[Zell] decided to wind up [his law firm] because he saw the ‘dot com’ bust coming,” Edward said. “So, that’s when I moved over to Kirkland and Ellis. I said to them, ‘I’ll join you, if you consider moving me to London at some point.’”

And so, the move to London became another step closer and became more real as the international legal work piled up. Through Kirkland, Edward worked with many Japanese clients, hosting conference calls at 2 a.m. to make up for the time difference and working with a wide variety of legal principles. Then, another opportunity sprung up.

“A former Kirkland [attorney], who had moved earlier to Baker & McKenzie was partner,” he said, “and she hired me [to Baker]. That was the bridge between the two.”

At Baker, Edward quickly rose from senior associate to partner, and eventually became the head of Baker’s Capital Markets Group with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (“EMEA”). The best part? He and his wife had finally struck a deal and moved to London.

While at Baker, Edward worked on many initial public offerings, with most of the deals done by listing foreign companies on the London Stock Exchange.

“The biggest work flow or work task is to prepare a prospectus for investors that describes everything about the company and the securities,” he said. “In order to kick off that process, you typically would go off to that company and spend a few days with them to see what they do so that you can write about it[.]”

These trips to visit the companies led to a multitude of ‘movie moment’ adventures, from driving across the Saudi desert, to working from an island in the Maldives, to encountering traveling camels in Uzbekistan. He said this made for an exciting career, as each “deal was like a little master class in that company’s business.” One of his more interesting adventures took him to Russia.

“I worked for the Russian Diamond Mining Company, and so I went by private plane to just south of the Arctic Circle to an uninhabited region of Russia to this diamond mine,” he said. “I went and dug up diamonds for a couple of days and lined up at the equipment cage with all the other minors.”

After 17 very successful years with Baker, one of Baker’s clients – Jeffries – came knocking. As a young, evolving global investment bank, Jeffries has grown to become one of the top 10 investment firms – joining the ranks of Goldman Sachs, Citi, J.P. Morgan, and the like – according to Edward (and a December 2017 Business Insider article).

He chose to transition from his capital markets position with Baker into Jeffries’ in-house counsel role after wanting a change. “I was excited about the opportunity,” he said, “but I had also sort of been in-house early in my career, and I knew it was a fantastic dynamic[.] There’s a relationship where you are part of a team[.]”

Edward has been serving as Head of the IB Legal at Jeffries since his 2017 move and recently received a new title in just the last few months: Acting General Counsel for EMEA and Asia. He said he loves this new role, and he looks forward to all that comes next.

As to advice for students planning out moves to one day follow in his footsteps, Edward laughs and simply remarks, “Don’t sweat it.”

“If my career stands for anything,” he said, “it’s that you can make every mistake possible and you’ll still end up where you’re meant to be. I was, I suppose, a disaster in terms of planning. I didn’t know what lawyers did when I went in to law school. I didn’t really focus on any one area of law in particular in law school. I had only vague notions of what I was supposed to be doing. I didn’t do a summer associate program. I didn’t do the paralegal route. Essentially, I had done everything wrong, but you just find your way.”

“Relax, and know it’s a long career ahead of you. If anything, we’re in a world where flexibility is probably the most important thing these days. And so, I think that my advice would be…at the end of the day, don’t sweat it. If you just apply yourself and continue on, you’ll find where you’re supposed to be.”


This story was written by outgoing Legal Pulse Editor Samantha Pallini and incoming Alumni Editor Kristina Cervi. It is the ninth installment of Syracuse Law Review’s monthly feature, “Alum of the Month.” Stay tuned for next month’s feature on another noteworthy Syracuse Law Review alumnus!

April 2018: Philip Rossetti (L’81)

When a new class of associates joins Latham & Watkins in Boston, they’re always treated to a ‘pep talk’ by one of the founding partners of the Boston office: Phil Rossetti. Phil tells them about the importance of paying attention to detail, treating others with respect, and putting in the work. While all of this sounds rather obvious, Phil says that the most pragmatic and obvious of tasks are what make all the difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer.

Phil Rossetti                                Partner,                                            Latham and Watkins (Boston)

Phil grew up just a few miles outside of Syracuse, New York, in the Town of Marcellus. He studied economics at the University of Rochester but then returned to Syracuse for law school, having always loved Syracuse University. He recalls how he and his high school friends would go to Marshall Street to browse the records at the local record store, or how they would  sit on the floor of Manley Field House to watch the Orangemen play basketball.  It was only natural that Phil chose Syracuse University College of Law to get his juris doctor.

In 1978, he began his 1L year. Phil had always loved business, and he realized that he wanted to be a part of corporate law and the immense possibilities that came with it. So, he started taking classes and internships that would prepare him for that career.

One of those legal internships, held during his 2L summer, was working as an associate for Bond, Schoeneck & King in downtown Syracuse. As for activities, Phil was very involved in the Syracuse Law Review, where he served as Editor-in-Chief during his 3L year. He recalls working in E.I. White Hall, where the members would gather together in their little office to read page proofs and work on the quickly-growing issue, the Survey of New York Law, now the cornerstone publication of the Syracuse Law Review.

Phil enjoyed being involved in these academic endeavors because he felt that law school made him feel as though he was “studying something he could really use and implement in his career and profession going forward.” Some of his favorite professors – Ted Hagelin, Richard Goldsmith, and Peter Bell – taught him to understand the legal principles while fitting them into a larger context, which he found particularly helpful. He even remembers going home for Thanksgiving his first year and telling his parents, “Don’t tell anyone, but I actually really like law school!”

Following law school, Phil accepted a position in Boston at the firm of Hutchins & Wheeler. He knew that New York City was a hot spot for many of his colleagues, but he felt that Boston offered a sophisticated legal practice in a manageable and livable city.

“Corporate law and business have always been strong dynamics in Boston, particularly in the ‘80s and ‘90s when the economy was very strong,” he said. “The market was also strong for lawyers in Boston. I think the great part, though, was that the educational institutions and culture of Boston generated a tremendous number of technology companies and startups. That’s where I wanted to be.”

Following his time with Hutchins & Wheeler, Phil moved over to Hale and Dorr, which years later merged with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering to become WilmerHale. For nearly three decades Phil worked at WilmerHale, where he worked on mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, tech company startups, and more. He loved the work, he loved Boston, and he was about to be presented with a new and exciting opportunity: to become a founding partner of a new office.

In 2011, Phil and five other attorneys opened the Boston office of Latham & Watkins, with Phil serving as the office managing partner for the first four years. Today, Phil continues to work in corporate and securities law with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, emerging companies, and venture capital financings.

“I really enjoy being able to counsel companies and to help them grow,” he said. “I pride myself on being able to give good business advice in addition to legal advice.  I have seen so many situations over the years and have come to love the life cycle of a company . . . I have lived that life cycle so many times that I can anticipate issues and help position a client for the best outcome.”

“People rely on lawyers to anticipate all of the things that can happen,” he said. “So, when we’re negotiating contracts or transactions, we need to anticipate what can happen, even if there’s only a 1% chance of happening. If it could, it will, so plan for it.”

It is this type of thinking and experience that has led Phil to be named a leader in Corporate Law and M&A for the last three consecutive years by Chambers USA and to be recommended by The Legal 500 U.S. of 2012.

Today, Phil finds himself offering advice and counsel to more than just clients; he does so for Latham’s new associates and summer associates in the Boston office.

“When I was just starting out, I would travel with a senior partner,” he said. “It was my job to make sure the car was there to pick us up, plane reservations and dinner reservations were set, and that we had directions to the right locations at the right time. It may sound silly and trivial, but planning, paying attention to detail, and taking initiative: that’s what helps you get ahead.  It is important that young lawyers show initiative in everything they do, and don’t wait for someone to figure it out for them.  Practical instincts and attention to detail are what set you apart from everybody else.”

Whether it’s advising a client, or giving a pep talk to a summer associate, Phil has set the bar high, not only for those around him, but for the legal profession.

Syracuse Law Review looks forward to recognizing Phil and his many accomplishments at the Law Review Banquet on April 12, 2018.


This story was written by Legal Pulse Editor Samantha Pallini and is the eighth installment of Syracuse Law Review’s monthly feature, “Alum of the Month.” Stay tuned for next month’s feature on another noteworthy Syracuse Law Review alumnus!