Albany Law Celebrates its 157th Commencement

157th Commencement

5/19/2008 | Facebook|Twitter|Email

Jeanine Ferris Pirro '75

Albany Law School graduates, faculty, staff, friends and families gathered Friday, May 16, 2008, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center for the School's 157th Commencement.

Of the 227 graduates, 213 received the Juris Doctor, nine the Master's of Law and Letters, and five the Master's of Law Degree. Click here to view the commencement program.

Jeanine Ferris Pirro '75, a high-profile former prosecutor, delivered the annual commencement address. Pirro was the first woman elected Westchester County District Attorney, a position to which she was elected three times. She began her career in the Westchester County District Attorney's office in 1975, and in 1978 headed the nation's first domestic violence unit. In 1990, Pirro was elected the first woman jurist to sit on the Westchester County Court Bench. In 1997, she chaired the New York State Commission on Domestic Violence Fatalities. Click here to listen to Pirro's address.

Elizabeth Connolly, class president, presented The Friend of the Class of 2008 award to Sherri Meyer, student services coordinator.

In recognition of their scholarship, service and teaching, Albany Law School honored three faculty members for their contribution.

Excellence in Scholarship was awarded to Professo​r Patricia E. Salkin. Professor Salkin, an alumna of Albany Law School and nationally recognized scholar on land use law and government ethics, was recently named the Raymond and Ella Smith Distinguished Professor of Law. Associate Dean Salkin is director of the Government Law Center. She holds many national and statewide appointments with organizations and agencies including: the American Bar Association, the Association of American Law Schools, the American Planning Association, the New York State Bar Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Salkin is the author of the daily blog, Law of the Land, which receives more than 2000 visitors a week. She's written dozens of books, treatises and articles on land use, environmental justice, government ethics, local government and administrative law. This year she was the editor of a book co-published with the American Bar Association and Albany Law School called Pioneering Women Lawyers: From Kate Stoneman to the Present.

Professor Laurie Shanks was recognized for Excellence in Service. Given her extensive trial experience, she teaches and trains seminars and trial advocacy workshops throughout the nation. In addition she has made significant contributions to the state and local bar, having served recently as a referee and hearing officer for the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct; the Third Department's representative to the Criminal Justice Section of the New York State Bar Association; and an active contributor to several bar committees, including  New York State Chief Judge Judith Kaye's Commission on the Future of Indigent Defense;  the New York State Bar Association's Special Committee to Ensure Quality of Mandated Representation; and the Capital District Women's Bar Association Committee on Judicial Screening and Rating.

Professor Dale Moore was honored for Excellence in Teaching. Professor Moore has been teaching at the law school since 1983. Of the 140 students who evaluated her teaching last semester, for example, she placed number 1 for one class and number 2 for her other class. Some sample comments from students include: "Any class she teaches is worth taking," "That was my favorite class of the semester," "She is clear, precise, engaging and knowledgeable."