UB Law pumped by 'Super Lawyer' ranking

September 8, 2010 Updated Sep 8, 2010 at 7:48 AM EDT

By Business First of Buffalo - by Matt Chandler

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September 8, 2010 Updated Sep 8, 2010 at 7:48 AM EDT

The University at Buffalo Law School earned the No. 1 ranking in Thomas Reuter's Super Lawyers list of law graduates practicing in Upstate New York.

The rankings examine 54 of the 62 counties in New York state

Selection for Super Lawyers is determined by 12 indicators of professional achievement and according to Reuter's, it is intended to "create a credible comprehensive and diverse listing of the top 5 percent of the lawyers in each state."

UB Law School President Makau Mutua called the honor, "a testament to their (UB graduates) talents and outstanding work." He added he is very proud of the program UB offers its law students and credited the curriculum, in part, with the school earning the top spot.

"This ranking reflects how our current legal skills curriculum, which is a cornerstone of our law school, prepares our students for their careers," he said.

The ranking is a much-needed boost for the UB Law School program which fell from the top 100 Law Schools in America in the current rankings released by U.S. News and World Report. At the time the U.S. News rankings were released, Mutua called it, "dismaying and shocking,"

During a sit-down with The Buffalo Law Journal last spring, Mutua said one of his goals was to raise awareness of the good things that were happening at the law school, saying that reputation played a role in the various rankings systems.

Ken Africano is a partner in the Buffalo office of Harter Secrest & Emery LLP. In addition to being named a 2010 Super Lawyer, he is a graduate of UB Law School (class of 1985) and a current member of the alumni board. Asked to offer his perspective on the Super Lawyers honor, he called it "nice to be recognized" as an individual attorney. As for the University's ranking, Africano says he "wasn't surprised at all" to see UB Law named number one.

"I think the quality of both the faculty and the student body continues to remain incredibly high," he said. Asked if the recognition takes some of the sting out of the current U.S. News listing, Africano said it helps.

"People who are active in the law school know it is a top-tier law school and sometimes you have to play to those U.S. News and World Report criteria to get those rankings, but we all know it is a top school," he said, "and I think Super Lawyers helps validate that."

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