As a 3L student at Syracuse University College of Law and the President of the Black Law Students Association, William X. M. Wolfe organized and hosted the first annual Black History Month Ceremony at the law school. Will has since graduated and is serving as a law clerk in the Harris Beach Syracuse office. The ceremony Will organized honored William Herbert Johnson, the first Black graduate of the College of Law in 1903. Mr. Johnson was denied admission to the Bar solely on the basis of race, and was posthumously admitted to the New York State Bar on October 18, 2019. Harris Beach and Will’s Syracuse office colleagues were proud supporters of that inaugural event held in Johnson’s honor.
This year, Will and partner Wendy Kinsella, co-chair of our Council on Inclusion and Diversity, virtually attended the second annual Black Law Students Association Black History Month Ceremony held on Feb. 25, 2021. The event paid tribute to the late Judge Sandra L. Townes, a pioneer in the advancement of black women in the law. Judge Townes was honored during the ceremony for her dedication to the law, education, and her community by keynote speaker, the Hon. George Daniels, Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Townes’ son, James W. Townes III, and her friend Cathy Richardson also paid tribute to her accomplishments.
During the ceremony, Syracuse Dean Craig M. Boise announced the creation of the Sandra L. Townes Diversity and Inclusion Student Resource Center. “The Resource Center holds much promise for the College of Law and beyond,” says Dean Boise. “Befitting its title, its uses will be diverse. It will be a place for contemplation and reflection; a safe space for robust conversation and exploration; and a learning center for pressing research and intellectual inquiry.” We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with the students and the SU College of Law.