Kate Stoneman Day 2021 will be Virtual Celebration for Law School Community

By Lauren Mineau
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Even during these challenging times, Albany Law School will celebrate three remarkable women in law who have demonstrated a commitment to seeking change and expanding opportunities for women in the legal profession during a virtual Kate Stoneman Day ceremony from 4-6 p.m. on March 22, 2021.

Recognition of the honorees was delayed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are:

Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Olympic champion, civil rights lawyer, and CEO of Champion Women, a nonprofit providing legal advocacy for girls and women in sports

Hon. Christine M. Clark ’96 – Associate Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department

Donna E. Young – founding dean of Ryerson University’s Faculty of Law in Toronto, Canada (a former longtime Albany Law School faculty member)

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Albany Law School and the Kate Stoneman Honorary Committee look forward to hosting Hogshead-Makar who will deliver the keynote address and receive the prestigious Miriam M. Netter ’72 Stoneman Award.

“Nancy Hogshead-Makar is a champion in every sense of the word—a renowned attorney, a tireless advocate for equal rights, and an Olympic gold medalist,” said Albany Law School President and Dean Alicia Ouellette. “She exemplifies the trailblazing spirit of Kate Stoneman and is an inspired choice to headline Kate Stoneman Day.”

Albany Law School's prestigious Stoneman 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 address in 1994—and other leaders in the private sector, public service, and academia.

About the 2020-2021 award winners:

Nancy Hogshead-Makar recently led a multi-year effort to protect athletes from sexual abuse in club and Olympic sports, which culminated when a new federal law, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act, was signed in February 2018.

Hogshead-Makar has testified in Congress numerous times on gender equity in athletics. She often serves as an expert witness in Title IX cases and has written amicus briefs representing athletic organizations in precedent-setting litigation, and is a frequent guest on national news programs on the topic, including CNN, ESPN, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC and 60 Minutes. Her book, co-authored with Andrew Zimbalist, EQUAL PLAY: TITLE IX AND SOCIAL CHANGE, has received acclaim since its release by Temple University Press. She was also the lead author of PREGNANT AND PARENTING STUDENT-ATHLETES: RESOURCES AND MODEL POLICIES, published by the NCAA.

Through her work, Hogshead-Makar has helped shape policy for girls and women. She has served on the NCAA Task Force on Gender Equity, and on the boards of Equality League, the Association of Title IX Administrators, the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program, the One Love Foundation, and the World Olympians Association. In 2007, Sports Illustrated listed her as one of the most influential people in the history of Title IX.

Hogshead-Makar capped eight years as a world-class swimmer at the 1984 Olympics, where she won three gold medals and one silver medal. After her Olympic career, she graduated with honors from Duke University (which named her to their Athletics Hall of Fame) and earned a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1997. She went on to practice law at Holland & Knight LLP in the litigation and public law departments. From 2003 to 2012, she was co-chair of the American Bar Association Committee on the Rights of Women. From 2001 to 2013, Hogshead-Makar was a tenured professor at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, where she taught first-year torts and sports law courses, including Gender Equity in Athletics.

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.