Empire State Legal Diversity Career Fair

Empire State Legal Diversity Career Fair

This year, the Bar Association of Erie County, University at Buffalo School of Law, and the Minority Bar Association of WNY are teaming up to launch Buffalo’s first legal diversity career fair at UB Center for Tomorrow on August 12, 2022 from 8:00am-5:00pm to facilitate the diversification of our profession.

This career fair is for law students, JDs, and licensed attorneys. It is open to all applicants, with the goal of increasing representation of people from diverse racial, religious, ability, gender, and sexual orientation backgrounds.

APPLICANT REGISTRATION DEADLINE HAS PASSED. If you would like to participate in the Career Fair and haven’t registered, contact Lisa Patterson by clicking here.

Employer Registration

EMPLOYER REGISTRATION IS SOLD OUT! Thank you to all our employers who signed up.


Our sponsors make this event possible. Sponsorship comes with considerable perks! Support this great cause today!

Fee Waiver for Government Employers

Volunteer Registration

We need volunteers for the day of the event. Please consider volunteering to help the event run smoothly and give our applicants and employers the best experience possible. Sign up by clicking the link below.

Career Fair Employers

We have sold out all of our employer space for the Career Fair! Job applicants will have a ton of opportunity to meet with many potential employers throughout the day. Thank you to each of these employers for being a part of this event.

Champion Sponsors


       Hodgson Russ LLPPhillips Lytle LLP

Supporter Sponsors


Legal Aid     


Friend Sponsors

Booster Sponsors

Additional Employers

Committee Roster

Thank you to the committee for all their great work in making this event happen!

Samantha White
Samantha I.V. White, Chair

Sam is a Public Defender in Buffalo City Court, a wife and mother. Sam is committed to creating opportunities to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession and within our greater community. She received her J. D. from the University at Buffalo School of Law and her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester.  Sam is also very active within Buffalo’s Legal Community and she is currently Vice President of the Minority Bar Association of WNY. Sam is also an active member of the Bar Association of Erie County and most recently served as the 2020-2021 BAEC Young Lawyers Committee Co-Chair.  Sam is also a Co-Chair on the Minority Bar Association of WNY’s Criminal Justice Reform Task, which was honored with the 2021 BAEC Liberty Bell Award. Sam is a longtime resident of Buffalo’s East Side, Vice President of her Block Club, and has been a social justice activist for years. She is Chair of the East Side Garden Walk and a vocal advocate for the revitalization of the East Side of Buffalo. One effort resulted in a NYS grant to repair the streetscape surrounding the Freedom Wall.  Sam is often found organizing community activities and helping to distribute resources to those in need. Sam has been a Chair for the East Side Garden Walk since 2019 and has served on the Board of Directors for Gardens Buffalo Niagara since 2020. She is a Gardens Buffalo Niagara Grant Committee member since 2020 and has helped to distribute tens of thousands of dollars to dozens of beautification projects within the City of Buffalo over that time. Sam has also served on the University at Buffalo Institutional Review Board since 2018, and was on the                                                                              Board of Directors for Neighborhood Legal Services from 2019-2022.

Hugh Russ
Hugh M. Russ, III

Hugh resolves business disputes. As a trial lawyer, Hugh has argued more than 100 cases before juries in the last 30 years, and he has represented individuals and businesses in virtually all areas of civil litigation throughout New York and the Northeast. Hugh was appointed by the U.S. District Court to be plaintiffs’ liaison counsel in the Continental Flight 3407 multi-district litigation. In addition to serving as lead counsel for all 50 plaintiffs, he also represented seven families of victims killed in the crash.

Hugh has represented major industries in environmental class action lawsuits. He has represented a major insurer in one of the largest environmental insurance coverage litigations in the nation, and he has represented numerous international businesses in product liability cases.  Hugh has tried catastrophic personal injury cases, including those involving claimed medical malpractice.  Hugh also has substantial trial experience on insurance cases involving arson and fraud, on personal injury cases, in employment litigation, environmental litigation, and in shareholder and business disputes. Additionally, he has extensive experience in pro bono and civil rights work.

Now, Hugh devotes much of his time to alternative dispute resolution, especially mediation and arbitration.

Hugh is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, which is comprised of the preeminent members of the trial bar in the United States and Canada.  Fellowship is extended only by invitation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the higher standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility, and collegiality.  Membership is limited to less than 1% of the total lawyer population.

Hugh is currently the president of the Bar Association of Erie County.

Larry Waters
Larry E. Waters

Larry E. Waters Jr. concentrates his practice on counseling and defending clients in a variety of civil litigation matters, with special emphasis on the retail and hospitality industry. He manages all aspects of claims handling and litigation, including preparing cases for filing; drafting motions, pleadings and briefs; conducting legal research in preparation for motion hearings; and participating in depositions, hearings, and mediations. Larry draws on experience in insurance coverage and health law, preparing coverage analysis on first-party and third-party claims. He has represented clients before the New York State Office of Temporary Assistance and the Social Security Administration while staff attorney in the medical legal partnership initiative of Neighborhood Legal Services.




Lisa Patterson

Lisa Patterson is the Program Director for Externships, Pro Bono and Access to Justice Initiatives at the University at Buffalo School of Law. She previously served as the Vice Dean for Career Services at UB Law for 22 years. Ms. Patterson uses her 20+ years of experience in legal career development to help students and alumni become their best professional selves and find satisfying work using their law degrees. She advises OUTLaw, the Domestic Violence Task Force and the Buffalo Public Interest Law Program.

Outside the law school, Ms. Patterson is the President of the Board of the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo and helps administer the New York State Public Defenders Career Fair.

Before moving to Buffalo, Ms. Patterson was the Director of Career Services at Notre Dame Law School. A native of Boston, Massachusetts, she holds a Juris Doctor from Notre Dame and a Bachelor’s degree in the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard University. She lives in Niagara County with her husband Dave and two rescued dogs, Shannon and Abby. Abby enjoys visiting the law students during exams to help them manage their stress and serves as the unofficial Pro Bono (“Pro Bone-o”) princess.

Hon. Kevin Carter
Hon. Kevin Carter

Hon. Kevin M. Carter graduated from Canisius College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986.  He studied law at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1989.  After graduating from law school, he became a sole practitioner.  He ran a general practice but concentrated in family and domestic relations law.  He practiced law in New York State Supreme Court, County Courts, Local Criminal Courts and Federal District Court.

In 1998, he received The Honorable Michael F. Dillon Law Guardian of the Year Award from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the Fourth Judicial Department for distinguished service as a children’s attorney. He joined the law firm of Sullivan & Oliverio in 1999.  His practice concentrated in general civil litigation.  In addition to practicing law, he served as a full-time professor of criminal law and procedure at Erie Community College-North from 1992 to 2002.  He currently serves as an adjunct professor at Canisius College.

Judge Carter was elected in November 2002 to Erie County Family Court and retained in 2012. Throughout his years on the bench, he has worked hard to interpret the law and render decisions in line with basic principles of justice, fairness, and equality for all who appear before him.

Judge Carter was designated Acting Supreme Court Justice in 2008 and presided over civil jury trials and post-divorce matters In State Supreme Court in Erie County. In 2012, Judge Carter received the Minority Bar Association of Western New York Trailblazer Award in recognition of courage, initiative, innovation, risk-taking and leadership.

In 2017, New York State raised the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years of age, ensuring that young people in New York receive the intervention and evidence-based treatment they need. Judge Carter co-chaired the Erie County Raise-the-Age Committee, developing the plan that established the Erie County Youth Part in Buffalo, New York.  In 2018, he was appointed the presiding judge of the Erie County Youth Part, which has jurisdiction over felony charges and accompanying misdemeanors committed by adolescent and juvenile offenders. In 2020, Judge Carter was honored with the Liberty Bell Award during the Erie County Association Law Day Ceremony in recognition of his involvement with the implementation of Youth Part pursuant to the Raise the Age Legislation. Judge Carter served as the Eighth Judicial District’s Supervising Judge of Family Courts between 2019 and 2021.  In July 2021, he was appointed Administrative Judge of the Eighth Judicial District where he manages the day-to-day operations of the trial courts in the Eighth Judicial District, which comprises Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming counties.

Stephanie Calhoun
Stephanie J. Calhoun

Stephanie Joy Calhoun is an assistant legal counsel with the Buffalo Public Schools District. In her current position, she focuses her practice on all areas of education law, including employee and labor relations, discrimination and harassment claims, and she has handled arbitration matters and Section 3020-a hearings.  She also represents the District in litigation matters involving administrative proceedings as well as matters in state and federal courts.  Calhoun previously worked at the NFTA as manager of their EEO department where she investigated employee discrimination matters and assisted with compliance of state and federal laws for minority and women business contract goals.  She also worked many years as an assistant attorney general defending state agencies in civil litigation matters. Calhoun earned her B.S. in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Pre-Law, cum laude, from Medaille College and her Juris Doctor from SUNY Buffalo Law School.

She serves as the current chair of the Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Stephanie currently serves as a director on the Minority Bar Foundation. Calhoun is also an active member of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York, where she has served as president and secretary of the Association, along with chairing many committees.  She is an adjunct professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School, teaching a course entitled “New York Administrative Law.” She is also a mentor to college students through Medaille College’s TRIO Alumni Mentoring Program.  Calhoun served as co-chair of the New York State Bar Association’s General Practice Executive Committee Fourth Department Section, and is a former director of the SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association’s GOLD Group.

Sarah Washington
Sarah M. Washington

Sarah Marie Washington is a native of Buffalo, New York.  She is a proud alumna of Nichols School.  She pursued her undergraduate studies and juris doctorate degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  She is a 2016 graduate of SUNY Buffalo School of Law.

Sarah currently works as a Senior Attorney at National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation.  She also serves as the inaugural chair of the Company’s Ethnically Diverse Group of Employees (EDGE) Employee Resource Group.  Prior to this role, Sarah was an Associate at Goldberg Segalla LLP where she practiced in the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Arbitration department as well as the firm’s Civil Litigation and Trial department.  Prior to her time at Goldberg Segalla, Sarah was an Associate and Summer Law Clerk at Connors LLP.  While at Connors LLP, her practice was devoted to medical malpractice defense work and civil litigation.

Sarah has been actively involved in our legal community.  Most recently, in 2021, she served as the President of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York (MBAWNY) and helped to continue the bar’s work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  She also served MBAWNY as Vice President-Elect (2020), as a Director (2019), and as Corresponding Secretary (2018).  She also served as the Chair of MBAWNY’s Annual Holiday Toy Drive from 2016 to 2021  Sarah has also been actively involved in SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Association’s Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) Group.  She currently serves as President.  Prior to serving as President, Sarah served the following executive roles on the board, Vice President/President-Elect, Treasurer, and Treasurer-Elect.

Sarah also actively volunteers her time and talents with the Nichols School and Buffalo Prep.

Lauren Breen
Lauren E. Breen

Lauren Breen is the executive director of Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc., the largest free civil legal services program serving western New York’s Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties. Lauren began her legal career as a staff attorney with Neighborhood Legal Services, before leaving for private practice at Hiscock & Barclay. From 1993-2016, Lauren taught in the UB Law clinics focusing on community economic development and tax-exempt corporations. She also taught for and briefly directed its NYC Program in Finance & Law. Lauren was faculty advisor to the American Bar Association Affordable Housing & Community Economic Development Journal for 10 years. She currently chairs the Eighth Judicial District’s Attorney Grievance Committee, has served on many WNY nonprofit boards and is honored to have supported the launch of Buffalo’s Massachusetts Avenue Project, PUSH Buffalo and the Partnership for the Public Good. In 2016, Lauren concluded her teaching career, returning to Neighborhood Legal Services as deputy director and, in 2018, became executive director. She is a very proud graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law, where she received the Class of 1989 Birzon Prize in Clinical Legal Studies. She graduated from Georgetown University in 1983.

Karen Nicolson
Karen L. Nicolson

Karen L. Nicolson, Esq. has been CEO of the Center for Elder Law & Justice, formerly Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled or Disadvantaged of Western New York Inc. for more than twenty years. The Center for Elder Law & Justice is a 70 person law office that provides free civil legal services to older adults in 11 counties in Western New York. In 2020, our civil legal services department helped over 10,000 individuals with issues such as evictions, Medicaid, public benefits, consumer scams, elder abuse and family court matters.   As CEO, she feels privileged to support its mission to utilize the legal system to help our clients live independently and with dignity.  In addition to direct civil legal services, CELJ is a trustee for the Western New York Coalition Pooled Trust for disabled persons in Western New York with over 11 million dollars under trust and court-appointed guardian for over 100 individuals, most of whom are victims of elder mistreatment.

Ms. Nicolson graduated from the SUNY Buffalo School of Law in 1989, and has been proud to spend her career advocating for the most vulnerable people in our community   She currently serves on the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Legal Aid, the President’s Committee on Access to Justice and co-chairs the LiveWell Erie County Task Force on Older Adults.  In addition, she serves on the Elder Justice Working Group through the NYS Unified Court System under the leadership of Judge Deborah Kaplan. She was also a founding a member of the Advisory Committee of the Crime Victims Legal Network Project. She is the Co-Treasurer of the New York Legal Services Coalition, a legal services member trade association that advocates for funding and policy changes to help low-income New Yorkers.

As a result of her work on behalf of low-income seniors, she was named a finalist for the Cause Award during the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo’s Centennial Celebration in 2019. In 2018, she was named Lawyer of the Year by The Erie County Bar Association, a Woman of Influence by Buffalo Business First, and she received the University at Buffalo School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service.    She was named a National Federation for Just Communities Leader in 2010, named in 2015 & 2016 to Buffalo Business First’s Legal Elite and was the 2015 Amherst Senior Citizen’s Foundation Senior Community Leader. She is a member of the Health Foundation of Western New York’s 8th cohort of Health Leadership Fellows.

Prior to becoming CEO, Ms. Nicolson was a staff attorney with CELJ for eleven years; before that, she worked briefly at the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo. She frequently lectures on elder abuse, pooled trust and legal services issues that impact older adults.  Ms. Nicolson lives in Amherst, New York with her husband, Thomas Smith.

Anne Joynt
Anne E. Joynt

Anne E. Joynt is a partner at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC. Ms. Joynt represents people who have suffered injuries as a result of exposure to asbestos, as well as those injured by childhood lead poisoning, motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice and defective products, as well as those who suffered childhood sexual abuse.

Ms. Joynt graduated magna cum laude from the State University of New York College at Geneseo with her Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish, and she received her Juris Doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School.

Ms. Joynt is very active in the community.  She served as President of the Western New York Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York from 2017-2018.  She is a Past President of the University at Buffalo Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors, and currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Minority Bar Association of Western New York Foundation.  Ms. Joynt is a member of the Board of Directors for the Western New York Women’s Foundation, and is co-chair of the “What She’s Made Of” event for that organization.  She also serves as Secretary for the Erie County Bar Association Aid to Indigent Prisoners, Inc., and acted as chair of the Search Committee.  She is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Federation of Just Communities.   She is a member of the Board of Directors for Girls on the Run of Buffalo, and chairs the nominating committee.  She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Women’s TAP Fund.  Previously, she was elected to serve on the Bar Association of Erie County Board of Directors for the 2013-2016 term.  She was also elected to serve on the nominating committee for the Erie County Bar Association from 2017-2020.

Ms. Joynt has been the recipient of a number of awards for her community involvement throughout Western New York.  She was named an Upstate Super Lawyer in 2021, having been listed as an Upstate New York Rising Star by Super Lawyers from 2013-2020.  She was listed as a member of the Legal Elite in 2019, a Legal Elite Rising Star in 2018, and a Legal Elite Leader in 2017.  She was named Woman Lawyer of the Year in 2017 by the Women Lawyers of Western New York.  She was honored as a Leader in Law by the Daily Record in 2016.  She was named by Business First of Buffalo as a “40 Under 40” honoree in 2014.  She was a finalist for the Athena Young Professional Award in 2013 and 2019.  In October of 2014, Ms. Joynt was named a Women in Leadership Honoree by the National Association of Women Business Owners Buffalo-Niagara.  In 2019, she also was honored with the Medina High School Distinguished Alumni Award.

Rich Barnes
Richard J. Barnes

Rich Barnes is a graduate of the State University College at Buffalo and the University of Buffalo School of Law. He served as a Senior Assistant District Attorney for the Erie County District Attorney’s Office from 1981 to 1985. Upon leaving the District Attorney’s Office, Rich entered the private practice of law focusing initially on criminal defense work before specializing in the representation of plaintiffs in personal injury cases. He practiced personal injury law with the firm of Cellino and Barnes as a Senior Trial Counsel for twenty-one years. Rich is currently the President of The Barnes Firm, a national personal injury law firm, with New York offices in Buffalo, Rochester, Manhattan, and Long Island as well as California offices in Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego. He has twice served as President of the Board of the Erie County Aid to Indigent Prisoners Society and has also served as past President of the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association. Rich is a member of the Erie County Bar Association and The New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He resides in Orchard Park, New York, with his wife, the Hon. Suzanne Maxwell Barnes, and their two dogs Vito and Jackson.


Jennifer Leonardi
Jennifer L. Leonardi

Jen concentrates her practice on defending individuals and companies against claims in environmental-exposure litigation, products liability, workers’ compensation, and general negligence.

Jen actively defends asbestos and lead-paint claims, representing manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, and site owners in all NYS courts and in the US District Court for the Western District of New York. She routinely conducts lead examination for defendants at depositions in asbestos-related lawsuits, coordinates with asbestos and lead-paint experts, and has successfully argued motions for summary judgment and negotiated numerous settlements and voluntary dismissals.

From pre-suit discovery through trial and resolution, Jen has extensive experience handling all aspects of litigated matters, and is also skilled in negotiating settlements, when appropriate. In addition to her own practice, Jen serves as the firm’s pro bono partner.


Michelle Parker
Michelle Parker

Michelle has been a trial attorney in private practice and in the public sector.  Her management experience arises from her prior roles as a partner/owner and as First Assistant County Attorney in the Erie County Department of Law, a department with a $21M budget and 23 personnel.  She was elected as a Board member and as the Treasurer of the Bar Association of Erie County, and Board member, Secretary and President of the Defense Trial Lawyers of WNY.  Rounding out her CV are stints as an Evans Town Prosecutor, counsel to the Hamburg Zoning Board of Appeals, and adjunct lecturer at Hilbert College (“Civil Litigation for Paralegals”) and at Buffalo State College where she currently teaches “Workforce Diversity in the 21st Century.”  She was honored with the C. Taylor Kew Excellence Award upon graduation from the CORE Program at the University at Buffalo Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.  At graduation from the University at Buffalo School of Law, she was awarded the Order of Barrister.  At Canisius College, she studied English Literature at night school and was awarded Continuing Studies Outstanding Student at graduation.


Sandy Langs
Sandra E. Langs

Ms. Langs is a commercial litigation and employment attorney who is responsible for initiatives that support the professional development of the firm’s attorneys, including training, mentoring, and all aspects of their professional, civic goals and advancement. Ms. Langs coordinates student and lateral recruiting, and manages the firm’s summer program. She is the Chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee and helped to develop the firm’s pipeline program known as Peace Out! She brings to the firm decades of legal and management experience at prior firms. She received her B.A. from Brown University and her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law where she was a member of the Law Review.




Joseph Brown
Joe Brown

Mr. Brown is a seasoned employment and business litigator who helps clients devise strategies to minimize risk and resolve problems in a cost-effective manner. He represents management in disputes involving harassment, discrimination, wage & hour claims, restrictive covenants, employment contracts, retaliation, whistleblower claims, and other complex business litigation. He also provides day-to-day advice to employers on a broad array of workplace issues. Mr. Brown has extensive experience representing municipalities, public officials, and school districts in high-profile matters involving civil rights claims, First Amendment retaliation, NY Education Law, and Article 78 proceedings. He has tried multiple cases and led numerous hearings before administrative agencies. As an appellate litigator, Mr. Brown has successfully briefed and argued nearly 30 appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and state appellate courts. A list of Mr. Brown’s notable litigation victories can be accessed here. Mr. Brown is the editor of the firm’s weekly electronic newsletter Employment & Business Litigation Pointers, which aims to provide timely information and practical, business-oriented solutions to the latest employment and business litigation developments. He regularly speaks and writes about a wide variety of employment law and litigation topics. As a leader in the community and the legal profession, Mr. Brown has received several honors, including the National Federation for Just Communities Community Leader Award and Buffalo Business First’s 40 Under Forty Award. He currently serves as Vice President of the foundation board for the Summit Center, which serves individuals with autism and other developmental/behavioral challenges. He has previously served as president of the Minority Bar Foundation and Minority Bar Association of WNY, vice president of the Buffalo Prep and Neighborhood Legal Services boards, and an elected member of the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates. Prior to joining Hurwitz & Fine, Mr. Brown was a partner in the business litigation group at Buffalo’s largest law firm, where he co-chaired the employment litigation practice and served as the firm’s diversity partner. He started his legal career as a litigator at a large law firm in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia.

Anastasia McCarthy
Anastasia M. McCarthy

Ms. McCarthy regularly defends businesses, municipalities, and school districts in high-exposure matters. She focuses her practice on the defense of personal-injury claims involving premises liability, transportation and automotive liability, and products liability.  Ms. McCarthy also serves on the firm’s Child Victims Act and Sexual Misconduct Coverage and Defense team, and frequently writes about the Child Victims Act, its application, and its effect on litigation.

Prior to joining Hurwitz and Fine, Ms. McCarthy served as Assistant Field Counsel for a large national insurance carrier, defending commercial policy holders in high-exposure tort actions involving products liability, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, premises liability, and catastrophic flooding and fire loss.

Ms. McCarthy earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in English Literature and Theatre from SUNY Geneseo, where she also received the C. Agnes Rigney Award in Writing Drama, a Mary A. Thomas Award in Poetry, and induction into Alpha Psi Omega, the Theatre and Dance Honor Society.

She received her Juris Doctor degree cum laude from the University at Buffalo Law School where she served as a research assistant for a legal history book focusing on economic development in Buffalo, N.Y.  An active participant in the Moot Court program, she advanced to the Top 16 in the Northeast Regional Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition and was a quarter-finalist and second place awardee for Best Appellate Brief in the Desmond Moot Court Competition.  She also served as co-founder and co-president of the Women of SUNY Buffalo Law, president and vice-president of OUTLaw, a member of the Buffalo Moot Court Board, and a clerk on the Buffalo Environmental Law Journal.

Ms. McCarthy serves on the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and recently completed the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Diversity and Inclusion Academy program.  She is a member of the Erie County and New York State Bar Associations, as well as the Women’s Bar Association of New York (WBASNY). She currently serves as President-Elect of WBASNY’s Western New York Chapter and co-chairs the statewide organization’s Legislation Committee. Ms. McCarthy also serves as a member on the Young Professionals Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie, Niagara and the Southern Tier.

Jill Bond
Jill Bond

Jill Bond is Senior Vice President, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Rich Products Corporation, where she has worked for more than 30 years.   After beginning her career at Hurwitz and Fine, she joined Rich’s as Corporate Counsel and has had numerous roles in the Legal Department, including General Counsel, and in Human Resources leadership before focusing her efforts on establishing a Global Compliance Function. In addition to her compliance related work, Jill continues to practice in the areas of Labor and Employment and Food Law.  Jill also has a leadership role on Rich’s Crisis Management Team and led  Rich’s women’s affinity group for more than ten  years.

Jill graduated from  Canisius College and the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.  She has remained active in  both schools having served as a member of the Board of Regents at Canisius and the Dean’s Advisory Council at UB Law School.  She has been honored as a Distinguished Alumna by both Canisius  and the UB Law Alumni Association.

Jill is the Vice President, President-Elect for the BAEC. Jill is currently Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Center for Elder Law and Justice, serves as an Officer on the Board of Directors of Hauptman Woodward Medical Research Institute and is a Board Member of Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute.

Jill and her husband, Keith Bond, also a lawyer,  will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary this year.   They have three grown children.  They are active in the Newman Center at UB,  and enjoy travelling and continuing to explore all the wonderful things their beloved  Buffalo has to offer.

Katie Ireland
Katie M. Ireland

Katie M. Ireland is Senior Counsel at Sumitomo Rubber USA, LLC in Tonawanda, New York, where she provides legal advice, negotiates agreements, and manages litigation and internal employment matters for the company.  Katie is also a volunteer Paramedic with the Grand Island Fire Company, where she currently holds the office of recording secretary.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the ECBA Volunteer Lawyers Project (“VLP”) and is the past president of VLP’s Rising Champions for Justice.  Katie is also appointed to the NYS Bar Association’s Committee on Mass Disaster Response.  Katie holds her Juris Doctor degree from The University at Buffalo School of Law and is a NYS certified EMT-Paramedic.  Katie enjoys serving her community, bowling and most importantly, spending time with her family, including her cranky chihuahua, Lucky.




Mike Keane
Michael J. Keane

Michael J. Keane has served as the First Deputy District Attorney since 2017 as part of the leadership team under Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn. First Deputy DA Keane is responsible for the supervision of all bureaus and the day-to-day operations of the office. Deputy DA Keane also assists DA Flynn in establishing and implementing all office policies.

Deputy DA Keane, born and raised in Western New York, is a graduate of Canisius High School. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from Siena College, his Master of Business Administration Degree from Clarkson University, and his Juris Doctor Degree from State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Law.

Keane began his legal career in 1993 as a private practitioner representing criminal defendants in Erie County. In 1994, he joined the District Attorney’s Office where he began his career as a prosecutor in the Justice Courts. He later became responsible for prosecuting the most serious felony criminal cases in County and Superior Courts where he honed his skills as a trial attorney. After five years of service as an Assistant District Attorney, Keane left the Erie County DA’s Office to continue his legal career in private practice with the law firm Forton & Forton. Keane later joined the law firm of Walsh, Roberts & Grace where he became a partner. While in private practice, Keane represented clients in both civil and criminal matters throughout Western New York.

In 2009, Keane joined the law firm of Colucci & Gallaher, later becoming a partner, and expanded his law practice to federal court. He continued to represent clients as a trial attorney in both civil and criminal lawsuits before New York State Supreme Courts and in the Federal District Court in the Western District of New York. During his more than 25 years as a trial attorney, Keane has also argued appeals before the New York State Appellate Division, Fourth Department and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Anne Noble
Anne Noble

Anne is the Executive Director of the Bar Association of Erie County.









Helen Ferraro-Zaffram
Helen Ferraro-Zaffram

Helen is a Managing Attorney at The Center for Elder Law & Justice.  Helen graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York where she received her B.A. degree in Political Science and Sociology.  She received her J.D. from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri.   She serves as a Community Liaison on the Ethics Committee of the Erie County Medical Center Corporation and has been a member of the Health Law Committee of the Medical Society of Erie County for a number of years.

Helen served on the Board of the National Guardianship Association and was co-chair of the Education Committee of that organization.

She has received the Service Award from the Bar Association in the past.  She received a Women in the Law Award in 2005 presented by the 8th Judicial District Gender & Racial Fairness Committees and she was the 2012 recipient of the Dr. Evan Calkins Meritorious Service Award presented by the Network in Aging of Western New York, Inc.  She was named Lawyer of the Year by the Bar Association of Erie County in 2013.

Meghan Dwyer
E. Meghan Dwyer

Meghan concentrates her practice on defending clients against toxic exposure, products liability, and general negligence claims, from investigation and pre-trial discovery to depositions, motion practice, settlement, trial preparation, and appeals. She represents individuals and businesses such as homeowners and commercial property owners, property managers, service providers, product manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors.

Meghan handles cases in counties throughout New York State and is familiar with the nuances of local practice, most notably in asbestos litigation. She regularly counsels clients and insurance carriers on the intricacies of unique state rules related to the apportionment of liability and damages.

In addition to her own practice, Meghan serves as the firm’s co– summer associate partner. She also is a member of the Buffalo office Diversity Leadership Team. Meghan formerly oversaw the Buffalo office Diversity 1L Summer Associate Program as recruitment liaison.


Kristen Elmore-Garcia
Kristen Elmore-Garcia
  • Graduated from SUNY Brockport in 2013 with bachelors of arts in communications and political science.
  • Worked as an assistant in the student activities office for SUNY ECC, helping engage students during new student orientation and welcoming to campus in 2014.
  • Attended the University of Missouri School of Law in Columbia Missouri.
  • Graduate teaching assistant in the Missouri School of Journalism on the topics of cross-cultural communication as well as media law.
  • Associate at the law offices of William Mattar as a personal injury attorney serving clients in Western New York including Buffalo, Rochester, and as far as Syracuse and Utica.
  • Associate in the law firm of Kenney Shelton Liptak Novak representing defendant clients in insurance claims filed against them. Understands insurance company tactics from the inside.
  • Erie County assistant DA in April 2020. Fought on behalf of the People of the State of New York. Prosecuted cases and went to trial on assaults, DWIs, hit and run crashes, harassments and more.
  • Married husband Rafael Garcia in September 2021. We are happy and proud to have a supportive new marriage.
  • Joined John Elmore P.C. in December 2021 with trial experience, personal injury experience, and inside experience with the insurance companies.
  • Currently serves as a board member for the William Emslie YMCA as well as the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier.

Tasha Moore
Tasha Moore

Tasha Moore

On August 25, 2016, Tasha E. Moore, Esq. was hired by the NYS Unified Court System for the position of Senior Management Analyst in the Eighth Judicial District and was elevated to Deputy District Executive in November of 2018.

Ms. Moore enjoys serving under the leadership of Administrative Judge for the Eighth Judicial District, Kevin M. Carter and  District Executive, Andrew Isenberg and assisting them in serving the district’s staff and community who are spread out over eight counties (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming).  Ms. Moore was recognized by the WNY Coalition of Blacks in the Courts NYS Courts on January 15, 2019 as a Trailblazer for her dedication and commitment to the Spirit of Diversity and Inclusion and (her) tireless efforts to bring about diversity in the NYS Unified Court System.  Former Administrative Judge for the Eighth Judicial District, Paula L. Feroleto appointed Ms. Moore to the 8th JD Gender & Racial Fairness Committee, 8th JD Diversity Steering Committee and the NYS OCA Office of Diversity & Inclusion Diversity Task Force

Tasha Moore also served as Regional Director of the New York State Division of Human Rights, Buffalo Office, which is responsible for enforcing the NYS Human Rights Law and resolving  claims of discrimination.  The office serves the diverse populations of Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties and her responsibilities include interacting with personnel from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and US Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Ms. Moore is an Alumni of  the University at Buffalo Law School and enjoys participating in its various outreach programs.  She is also a past president and vice-president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York and has as the vice president.  In 2011 Ms. Moore worked with the Minority Bar Association of Western New York, to create a task force of minority lawyers and educators with the goal of developing a pipeline from grammar school to law school to ensure diversity in the legal profession. As part of these programs the organization put Goldilocks on trial at elementary schools for the students and organized panel presentations for high school students where the attorneys shared their personal journeys to law school.

As a past President of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York (MBAWNY),  she led a task force whose goal was to develop undergraduate pipeline programming for minority and first-generation college students interested in law.   The creation of the MBAWNY Retention and Recruitment Task Force  (Task Force) led to a relationship with the former Millard Fillmore College, University at Buffalo Law School and the University at Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center.  The  collaborative efforts of the Task Force led to the receipt of the Law School Admission Council’s three-year grant to establish the ‘LSAC Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars Program (PLUS) at SUNY Buffalo Law School.’

Ms. Moore has sat on numerous community boards was recognized for her participation.  She’s a member of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York; Western New York Chapter and the Bar Association of Erie County.

She’s a graduate of Florida A&M University (FAMU) and the University at Buffalo Law School, SUNY.  Her greatest accomplishment is being a part of a loving family.

Danielle D'Abate
Danielle N. D’Abate

Danielle D’Abate has served as the Chief of the Community Prosecution and Training Bureau since 2019 under the leadership of Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

After graduating from Grand Island High School, D’Abate attended Ithaca College where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in Legal Studies. After obtaining her Juris Doctor Degree from Touro Law School in 2008, D’Abate worked as Assistant Corporation Counsel in New York City where she was assigned to the Family Court Unit to prosecute cases against juvenile delinquents.

In 2010, D’Abate returned to Western New York to join the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. D’Abate began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in Buffalo City Court. She was later promoted to handle more serious criminal cases the Domestic Violence Bureau and Felony Trials Bureau before being appointed to the Community Prosecution and Training Bureau established by DA Flynn in 2017.

Chief D’Abate serves as the primary liaison between the District Attorney’s Office and the residents of Erie County. She is responsible for gathering information on constituent concerns and investigating potential crimes related to quality of life issues.

D’Abate also leads a team of Assistant District Attorneys responsible for handling the most serious felony cases involving adolescent and juvenile offenders within Youth Part. In addition to investigating and prosecuting crimes committed by teenagers, Chief D’Abate has collaborated with law enforcement agencies and community organizations to develop programs to educate youth and prevent crime, including the Gun Violence Prevention Panel at Buffalo Public Schools. She also helped create the Restorative Justice Youth Pilot Program, a program for eligible adolescent offenders involved in the criminal justice system to deter future criminal behavior.

In addition, D’Abate oversees community outreach initiatives on behalf of the DA’s Office. She organizes service opportunities for the office’s Volunteer Team, coordinating our involvement in neighborhood clean-ups, school supply collections, holiday meal giveaways, and other fundraisers and events to benefit local non-profit organizations that help those in-need in our community.

Andrew Wilson
Andrew Wilson

Andrew M. Wilson is a Partner and Immigration Practice Group Co-Leader with Lippes Mathias LLP.  He is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Immigration Law, the International Who’s Who for Corporate Immigration Law, the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and New York Super Lawyers—Upstate.  He has been named Buffalo Immigration Law “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in 2013, 2018 and 2021.  He currently serves as an AILA Local CBP Liaison and has also been active in SHRM as a Panel Member on its Global Special Expertise Panel and Corporate Social Responsibility Special Expertise Panel.

Rather than taking a transactional approach, Andrew focuses on building long-lasting relationships with clients as a trusted advisor.  He represents companies, major league sports teams and individuals in all areas of immigration law.



Julie Sherwood

Julia graduated from Williamsville South High School in 2021. She is currently attending The George Washington University, earning her Bachelors degree in Political Science and English with a minor in Philosophy.

Glenae Garlock
Glenae Garlock

Glenae Garlock

Glenae is a Juris Doctor Candidate at the University at Buffalo entering her second year. Glenae aspires to use her education to revitalize Western New York, with a focus on public schools and urban communities. She received an AAS in Criminal Justice from Bryant & Stratton College, where she was the commencement speaker. She then went on to receive a BA in Social Sciences Interdisciplinary concentrated in Urban and Public Policy with a minor in Sociology from the University at Buffalo. Glenae is currently working as a Law Clerk for New York State United Teachers (NYSUT).

Glenae is an active member of Black Love Resists in the Rust (BLRR), a community activist group. Volunteering is one of her greatest passions. When time allows, Glenae is always trying to give back to the community and help those in need. Before law school, Glenae was a little league cheerleading coach and Sunday school teacher. During the pandemic, Glenae ran a very affordable resume service to help the community apply for jobs as restrictions lifted. She is also very involved with local pet rescue groups, helping them find funding for low-income programs keeping families and pets together.

As a queer Afro-Latina Indigenous mother, Glenae has many leadership roles at the University at Buffalo. She is the Co-President of the Native and Indigenous Law Students Association (NILSA); Vice President of the Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA); Diversity Equity & Inclusion Council for the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and OUTlaw. In the fall, Glenae will be participating in the Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic and revitalizing a club for parents in law school, PALS. Glenae is energized each day knowing her hard work will contribute to a prosperous future for Western New York.

The event is finished.


Aug 12 2022


8:00 am - 5:00 pm


University At Buffalo Center For Tomorrow
101 Service Center Rd., Buffalo, NY 14260


Bar Association of Erie County, Minority Bar Association of WNY, and UB School of Law
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