Stein Scholars from the Class of 1995We spoke with seven alumni of the inaugural class of Stein Scholars who joined the program in 1992 to find out what they have been up to since graduating from Fordham Law and to hear their recollections from the early years of the Stein Scholars Program.
Roland Richard Acevedo: After graduating from Fordham Law, I clerked for 2 years with District Court Judge Deborah Batts of the Southern District of New York. I was then the Managing Attorney at the Osborne Association’s Legal Services Office and the Interim Managing Attorney at the Legal Aid Society Homeless Rights Project. For the past 13 years, however, I have been Of-Counsel to a small firm called Scoppetta Seiff Kretz & Abercrombie. I was attracted to small firm practice because I wanted to start litigating right away. I now spend all of my time either in court or preparing papers for court. There are constant deadlines. My primary areas of practice include criminal (trial and appellate), family, and administrative law. I also represent a few big unions in Washington, D.C. and New York.
It was an honor to be in the first class of Stein Scholars because we were able to interact with Louis Stein, who would visit and talk with us. He was a very down-to-earth guy and incredibly interesting. I loved law school because I was surrounded by fellow Steins who also saw life through rose-colored lenses, were committed to public interest law, and came from diverse backgrounds. In addition, all of the Stein professors—Bruce Green, Matt Diller and Mary Daly—were incredibly committed. I was an evening student while at Fordham Law, and I worked all four years. In fact, it was while I was working at Legal Aid during law school that I met my future wife during a training on the rights of homeless families!
Marianne Boesky: I opened Marianne Boesky Gallery in 1996 on Greene Street in SoHo, New York. In 2001, I moved the gallery to West Chelsea and in 2006 completed the building on West 24th Street that currently houses my gallery. The gallery specializes in representing emerging and mid-career contemporary artists from all over the world. (For a complete list of artists, visit my website.) Most recently Marianne Boesky Gallery expanded to a second townhouse space on East 64th Street and Park Avenue, where I am exhibiting more historic and thematic exhibitions that contextualize the artists in the Chelsea program.
The Stein Scholars Program gave me a strong grounding in ethics and advocacy that remains at the core of my work life.
Yvette M. Garcia: I currently serve as the General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of Rockefeller & Co., Inc., a wealth advisory and asset management firm. In this capacity, I advise the company on a broad range of legal, compliance, and corporate governance matters and oversee the company’s human capital activities. One area of the business that has been particularly interesting to me is our sustainability and impact investing practice. I have had the opportunity to work closely with that team over the years on a number of initiatives and observe how they incorporate environmental, social, and governance practices into their investment process.
On a personal level, having been a member of the initial group of Stein Scholars was a privilege. I reflect fondly on the diversity and enthusiasm of my peers and the commitment of all of the professors. I cannot believe it’s been 20 years!
Laurel Hoffman: I have recently retired from the practice of law. I spent my career (short though it was) first as an Assistant Corporation Counsel with the Law Department of the City of New York and then as an Associate Counsel with New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation defending the hospitals and physicians working at the city hospitals. I loved every minute of it and only wish I had started my legal career earlier. On the other hand, I probably would not have brought as much to my career if I had started law school sooner. Further, I would not have applied to the Stein Scholars Program.
For an older student, the Stein Scholars Program was an oasis for me. I was able to meet with other students, many of whom had careers before law school and who had other responsibilities during law school. That was so helpful when study groups were formed. Having such a diverse group made me feel I could do this—get through law school, have a life and a family, and juggle all those responsibilities and succeed.
Amy Loprest: After law school, I clerked for the Honorable Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York. Judge Cote was a relatively new judge at the time and had been assigned a large caseload including many quite old pro se cases. My work was focused on handling this backlog of pro se litigation. After two and half years, I joined the litigation group of Kaye Scholer where I remained for about a year. I then moved to the New York City Campaign Finance Board where I have held many different positions, including Deputy General Counsel, Director of Campaign Finance Administration, and Assistant Executive Director. Since September 2006, I have been the Executive Director. I lead a staff of approximately 100 in enhancing the role of New York City residents in the electoral process through voter education, disclosure of campaign finance information, and the administration of a small donor multiple matching fund program which has been heralded as a model for the state and nationally.
While I don’t have a specific recollection of the Stein Scholars Program, I do remember that it was comforting to be in a community of people who shared my interest and values about the importance of public service. I was an undergraduate finance major at the Wharton School and coming into the Stein Program and being in that community made my experience of law school much different than my undergraduate experience. Looking back, I also really value having the public interest ethics guidance because the issues that arise in public service are different than those in the private sector legal community.
Karen Selvin: After graduating law school, I worked for two years as an attorney for the New York City Police Department, bringing affirmative lawsuits to shut down illegal drug, gambling, and prostitution locations. I then moved over to the New York City Law Department where I remain to this day (minus a few years for extended child care leaves). I currently serve as a Senior Counsel in the Administrative Law Division. The Administrative Law Division defends the City in both federal and state courts against lawsuits challenging the validity of its laws and regulations, as well as the policies and decisions of the administrative agencies charged with carrying them out. In addition, the division also commences civil actions to obtain compliance with laws and regulations and prosecutes violators of the New York City Administrative Code (the City's laws) in criminal court.
As for my memories of the Stein Scholars Program, I remember the camaraderie of the first class, since we were basically the "guinea pigs" doing everything for the first time, and the enthusiasm of Russ Pearce and Bruce Green. In addition, I remember that we had some very engaging debates!
Tim Treanor: I am a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, where I run the white-collar criminal practice in the firm’s New York office. Earlier in my legal career, I spent nearly a decade in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York where I handled organized crime, terrorism, narcotics, and white-collar criminal cases and spent a few years supervising the office’s Organized Crime Unit.
As a member of the first class of Stein Scholars, we had the privilege of being able to help shape the Program, and I enjoyed engaging in a running dialogue with my colleagues in the Program who shared the same interest in public service but approached that interest from a variety of different perspectives. I think we all helped each other figure out for ourselves how we would turn our interests in public service and the law into careers, and I have been pleased and proud to see all of the great things my colleagues from that first class of Stein Scholars have done over the years.