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Albany Law School announced today that the Honorable Christine M. Clark ’96 and Ryerson University Faculty of Law Dean Donna E. Young will join Nancy Hogshead-Makar in receiving Kate Stoneman Awards.
Albany Law School's prestigious Stoneman Awards are presented to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to seeking change and expanding opportunities for women within the legal profession. The awards are in honor of Kate Stoneman, the first woman admitted to practice law in New York State and the first female graduate of Albany Law School, Class of 1898.
Past Stoneman Award honorees include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, New York State Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Honorable Constance Baker Motley, former New York Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye—who delivered the inaugural keynote in 1994—and other leaders in the private sector, public service, and academia.
About the 2020 award winners:
Nancy Hogshead-Makar, an Olympic champion, civil rights lawyer, and CEO of Champion Women, a nonprofit providing legal advocacy for girls and women in sports, was previously announced as the Miriam M. Netter ’72 Stoneman Award recipient.
Hon. Christine M. Clark ’96 is an Associate Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department.
Justice Clark has risen quickly through the legal ranks since her time at Albany Law School. After graduation, she worked at Dreyer Boyajian LLP for two years before moving on to become a Schenectady County DWI prosecutor. She later worked in the county’s felony bureau, and then as the first bureau chief of the special victims unit. She went on to establish the Schenectady County Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Team.
Her judicial career began in 2004 when she was appointed as a judge in Schenectady City Court. She was elected to that position in 2005 and five years later was elected to the bench of Schenectady County Family Court. In 2012, she became only the second woman elected to the state Supreme Court from the 11-county Fourth Judicial District. She was appointed to the Third Department in 2014.
Throughout her career, Justice Clark has dedicated herself to the advancement of women in law, regularly mentoring and offering internship opportunities to law school students; her impact on up-and-coming women attorneys has been described as “the stuff of legend.” She is an active member, frequent volunteer, and former board member of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association, which presented her with the Hon. Judith S. Kaye Distinguished Attorney Award in 2018.
She is married to Albany Law alumnus Bob Mayberger ’78 and has two teenage daughters.
As one nominator wrote, Justice Clark is “sincerely inspirational and committed to the betterment of our profession, the women involved in it, and the community that our collective work helps shape.”
Donna E. Young is the founding dean of Ryerson University’s Faculty of Law in Toronto, Canada. Before joining Ryerson, she was a longtime member of the Albany Law School faculty and most recently held the title of President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy.
Her teaching and scholarship focus on law and inequality, race and gender discrimination, and academic freedom and university governance. She has taught courses in Criminal Law, Employment Law, U.S. Federal Civil Procedure, Gender and Work, and Race, Rape Culture, and Law. While at Albany Law School, she was also a joint faculty member at the University at Albany’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Dean Young was nominated for the Kate Stoneman Award by more than 60 students at Albany Law School, as well as numerous faculty members who described her as “a mentor, a pillar of strength, a source of inspiration and reflection, a friend, a scholar, a leader in the area of faculty governance here and elsewhere, and a fantastic colleague to all of us. In particular she has inspired the women who have come after her, lifting them up, but in the true spirit of Kate Stoneman she has not stopped there, she has lifted us all, making us all better.”
Young’s advocacy—in academia, media, and public settings—and standing as a preeminent ally of gender and racial equality draws parallels “to the pioneering champion of women’s equality in the legal profession, Kate Stoneman,” her former students wrote.