Alumni gather for 2012 NYU Law reunion

On April 27 and 28, NYU Law welcomed back alumni from the classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, and 2007 for two days of reunion festivities.

Friday evening featured tours of Furman, Vanderbilt, and Wilf Halls, as well as receptions for international alumni, public service alumni, and tax alumni. On Saturday, alumni were treated to four academic panels moderated by NYU Law professors. Professor Lily Batchelder (on leave) moderated a panel on tax reform—always a hot-button issue, but never so much as during an election year. The panel looked back on successful tax reform negotiations, reexamined the current postitions inside the Beltway, and addressed where we should be heading. Professor Nancy Morawetz ’81, whose Immigrant Rights Clinic recently spurred major changes in policy toward those wrongfully deported, took a look at the challenges and obligations of lawyers representing immigrants in both criminal and immigration proceedings. Professor Gerald Rosenfeld examined current issues in activist investing and the new regulatory framework in a panel entitled: “Activist Hedge Funds: Market Disciplinarians or Corporate Predators?” Finally, Professor Katherine Strandburg led a fourth panel on “Tech Support: How Best to Advise and Invest in this Volatile Industry.”

On Saturday afternoon, three alumni from the class of ’82 were honored at the Alumni Awards luncheon. The Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes graduates’ significant professional achievements and commitment to the continued development of the Law School, went to Marc Platt ’82, a film, theatre, and television producer. Platt’s projects have included Broadway’s blockbuster musical Wicked, and the films Legally Blonde, Drive, Wanted, Rachel Getting Married, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

Deborah Ellis ’82, assistant dean for public service and director of the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) and the Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship Program, received the Public Service Award, which recognizes alumni who forge careers in public service and honors those who profoundly affect society.  Ellis has also served as legal director of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she argued Btray v. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Legal Teaching Award, which honors great teachers for scholarship and for extraordinary dedication to the education and training of law students, was given to Abbe Smith ’82. Smith is the director of the Criminal Defense and Advocacy Clinic, co-director of the E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program, and professor of law at Georgetown University, where she teaches and writes on criminal defense, legal ethics, juvenile justice, and clinical legal education.

Also honored was Tatia Miller ’02, who received the Recent Graduate Award, which recognizes the professional achievement of alumni who graduated no more than 10 years ago. A foreign service regional legal advisor with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Miller has supported Missions in Senegal and Pakistan by providing advice on project cash flow, implementation mechanisms, local capacity development, statutory and regulatory compliance, pre-litigation coordination, and ethics counseling.

After a day of stimulating academic panels and a luncheon celebrating the awardees, Alumni were treated to a reunion dance in at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Posted April 30, 2012

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