Albany Law Trustee Kimberly C. Petillo-Décossard ’05 Honored by NY Law Journal for Women's Leadership Initiative

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The prestigious New York Law Journal has recognized an Albany Law School alumna for supporting women in the law and creating opportunities for mentorship and advancement of the next generation.

Kimberly C. Petillo-Décossard ’05, founding donor and champion of The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) at Albany Law School, was honored with one of the publication’s 2023 Legal Awards, in the Diversity Initiative category. Petillo-Décossard, partner at White & Case LLP, is also an Albany Law School Trustee.

In 2020, Petillo-Décossard and her husband, Sakis Décossard, made the gift to establish The Women’s Leadership Initiative, an innovative effort organized by Albany Law School’s Career and Professional Development Center and Office of Alumni Engagement. The WLI was the ninth endowed fund established during the record-breaking campaign We Rise Together: The Campaign for Albany Law School.

a little girl smiling at the camera

“Albany Law School’s Women’s Leadership Initiative has been one of the joys of my career – an opportunity to redefine the face of the legal industry by advancing the leadership of our remarkable law students,” Petillo-Décossard said. “The program has relied on so many impressive people offering their incredible ideas, valuable time, programmatic support, and financial assistance.”

The WLI features a fellowship program, leadership and networking opportunities for students and alumnae, and education workshops on a range of important topics, such as building your own firm, applying the law to the role of in-house counsel, and other career-defining matters.

The WLI was bolstered by additional gifts from trustee Timothy O’Hara ’96 and his wife, Colleen O’Hara along with Harris Beach PLLC and John T. McManus ’97. McManus is a managing partner of the Harris Beach offices in Albany and Saratoga Springs and a member of the WLI advisory committee.

“This recognition belongs to all of us, and in particular, the Albany Law School administration, the WLI advisory committee, all of our financial supporters (especially Colleen and Tim O'Hara who saw the promise of our program while it was still in early development), and our law firm partners (especially our first, Harris Beach, led by Albany Law School alumnus John McManus),” Petillo-Décossard said. “This list is not complete without a special mention of gratitude to my husband, Sakis Decossard, who, at the height of COVID, over and through the joyfully chaotic sounds of our three young children, told me the creation of this program was a brilliant idea and we should definitely do it…and so we did!”

The New York Law Journal awards honor attorneys and judges, “who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in New York – whether in shaping the law, achieving outsized results for their clients, being an outstanding jurist or assisting those in need of legal services.”

Honorees will be recognized in a ceremony on October 4.