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2022 Community Outreach

The Northern District of New York celebrated Law Day 2022 by hosting more than 550 students from 19 different school districts and one law school over 14 separate days at the courthouses located in Albany, Syracuse and Binghamton, and five of our judges also traveled to area schools to speak to the students or held programs virtually. The programs were organized by U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino in Albany, Magistrate Judge Miroslav Lovric in Binghamton, and Magistrate Judge Thérèse Wiley Dancks and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Wendy A. Kinsella in Syracuse.

March 9, 2022

Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks, U.S. Magistrate Judge, met with approximately 30 high school students from Public Service Leadership Academy at Fowler High School at the Syracuse Courthouse. The students are part of the law enforcement and forensic science programs at PSLA Fowler. The students heard about the practice of criminal law from Carla Freedman, U.S. Attorney, and Randi Bianco, Assistant Federal Public Defender. They also heard from James Mathers, Probation Officer, and Robert Polanco, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Additionally, the students observed criminal proceedings conducted by Chief District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby, who then answered the students’ questions about the proceedings and his work as a District Judge.

March 26, 2022

Hon. Mae. A. D’Agostino, U.S. District Judge, visited with three sections of 5th graders at the Lake Placid Elementary School to discuss the court system and the Constitution. The Court is looking forward to hosting the students at the Albany County Courthouse in 2023.

April 7, 2022

Hon. Wendy A. Kinsella, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, and Hon. Miroslav Lovric, U.S. Magistrate Judge, hosted students from the Syracuse University College of Law Black Law Student Association and Latin American Law Student Association at the Syracuse Courthouse. The Judges were joined by guest speakers Lisa Peebles, Federal Public Defender, Carina Schoenberger, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Jill Levy, Law Clerk to Magistrate Judge Dancks, and Jewell L. Ewing and Michael Medved, Law Clerks to Judge Kinsella. The panel discussed their career paths and enjoyed an informal roundtable discussion with the students.

April 20, 2022

Hon. Wendy A. Kinsella, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, hosted students from the Syracuse University College of Law Bankruptcy Clinic at the Syracuse Courthouse. Judge Kinsella discussed her career path, her role as a Bankruptcy Judge and employment opportunities in the Federal judiciary.

May 3, 2022

U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino and U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart were joined by NYND Bar member Julie Nociola in hosting approximately 30 students from Mohonasen High School at the James T. Foley Courthouse in Albany. The panel and students enjoyed discussing the 14th Amendment and a robust review of several cases involving equal justice, including Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia, Reed v. Reed, and Obergefell v. Hodges.

May 4, 2022

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Wendy A. Kinsella and attorney Daniel Wiig presented virtually to approximately 30 students from Tottenville High School. The Judge and Mr. Wiig discussed their career paths and their roles as a judge and lawyer.

May 4, 2022

Hon. Mae A. D’Agostino, U.S. District Judge, and First Assistant Federal Public Defender Paul Evangelista met remotely via video conference with 50 high school students from Bethlehem High School. The panel and students enjoyed a group discussion on how Constitutional amendments are passed and a robust review of several cases involving equal justice, including Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia, Reed v. Reed, and Obergefell v. Hodges.

May 5, 2022

Hon. Brenda K. Sannes, U.S. District Judge, traveled to the Syracuse Academy of Science with two of her law clerks, Erica Masler and Rebecca Miller, and met with approximately 40 high school students as part of their career exploration series to talk about their education, career paths and work life.

May 6, 2022

Hon. Miroslav Lovric, U.S. Magistrate Judge, met with students from Broome and Tioga County New Visions at the Binghamton Courthouse to discuss his career path and a day in the life as a judge. The students also heard about different careers in law from Carla Freedman, U.S. Attorney, Lisa Peebles, Federal Public Defender, U.S. Marshal Andrej Kolut, Agents Jenelle Bringuel, Steve Vizvary and John Bokal, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Abigail Hind, Career Law Clerk to Judge Lovric, and Sanket Mistry, Term Law Clerk to Judge Lovric. Finally, the students heard about careers in the Clerk’s Office from Jennifer Painter, Courtroom Deputy to Judge Lovric, and Max Prebit, Deputy Clerk.

May 13, 2022

Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Hon. Wendy A. Kinsella, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, U.S. Chief District Judge and Hon. David E. Peebles, U.S. Magistrate Judge met with approximately 110 high school students from Marcellus, Jamesville-Dewitt, Corcoran and LaFayette High Schools at the Syracuse Courthouse to discuss their career paths and a day in the life as a judge. The students also heard about different careers in law from Michael Langan, Career Law Clerk, Carla Freedman, U.S. Attorney, Lisa Peebles, Federal Public Defender, James Mathers, Probation Officer, and Agent Peter Fitzgerald, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Finally, the students heard about careers in the Clerk’s Office from Jodi Hibbard, Court Reporter, Carrie LaCourse, Jury Administrator, Lori Welch, Operations Manager, and Andrew Driscoll, Systems Administrator. The students ended their trip with a tour of our visiting judge’s chambers.

May 15, 2022

Hon. Mae A. D’Agostino, U.S. District Judge, Christian F. Hummel, U.S. Magistrate Judge, and NYND Federal Court Bar member Molly Case traveled to Albany High School to meet with approximately 100 students. The presentation livestreamed into several classrooms discussed how Constitutional Amendments are passed and involved a discussion of several historical cases involving equal justice, including Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia, Reed v. Reed, and Obergefell v. Hodges. Thereafter, the panel met with the AP Government class where the students enjoyed a more personal group discussion.

May 18, 2022

At the Syracuse Courthouse, the NDNY hosted undergraduate students from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College who are attending the Syracuse University College of Law Consortium Summer Residency Program this summer. The students heard all about life as a law clerk from Career Law Clerk Michael Langan. Chief District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby, Magistrate Judge Thérèse Wiley Dancks and Magistrate Judge Peebles also shared their views from the bench, and Magistrate Judge Baxter gave an overview on Federal and State Court systems.

May 19, 2022

Hon. Daniel J. Stewart, U.S. Magistrate Judge, and NYND Federal Court Bar member Mara Afzali traveled to Voorheesville High School to meet with approximately 60 social studies students and the Mock Trial Club. The panel and students enjoyed a group discussion on how Constitutional Amendments are passed and a robust review of several cases involving equal justice, including Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia, Reed v. Reed,Obergefell v. Hodges.

May 20, 2022

Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Hon. Wendy A. Kinsella, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Hon. Brenda K. Sannes, U.S. District Judge and Hon. Andrew T. Baxter, U.S. Magistrate Judge met at the Syracuse Courthouse with approximately 115 students from Cazenovia, Tully and ITC High Schools and Syracuse Academy of Science Middle School to discuss their career paths and a day in the life as a judge. The students also heard about different careers in law from Michael Langan, Career Law Clerk, Geoffrey Brown, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Randi Bianco, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Ellen Phillips, Supervising Probation Officer, and Robert Polanco, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Finally, the students heard from representatives of the Clerk’s Office, including Jodi Hibbard, Court Reporter, Carrie LaCourse, Jury Administrator, Lori Welch, Operations Manager, and Andrew Driscoll, Systems Administrator.


Students from Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central High School

Students from Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central High School

Students from Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central High School

Students from Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central High School

May 23, 2022

Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks, U.S. Magistrate Judge and Hon. Wendy A. Kinsella, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, hosted 29 Criminal Justice students from West Genesee High School at the Syracuse Courthouse. The students also heard about the career paths and life as a judge from Hon. Brenda K. Sannes, U.S. District Judge and Hon. Andrew T. Baxter, U.S. Magistrate Judge as well as life as a law clerk from Michael Langan, Career Law Clerk to Chief Judge Suddaby. The students also learned about different legal careers from Carla Freedman, U.S. Attorney, Randi Bianco, Assistant Federal Public Defender, and James Mathers, Probation Officer. Finally, Judge Dancks and Judge Kinsella and their law clerks led the students in a sentencing program called “You Be the Judge” where the students learned all about what a judge reviews and considers before sentencing a defendant.

May 26, 2022

Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks, U.S. Magistrate Judge and Hon. Wendy A. Kinsella, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, hosted the entire 6th grade from Skaneateles Middle School at the Syracuse Courthouse. The students heard from Assistant U.S. Attorney, Richard Southwick, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Randi Bianco, and John Nye, from the Syracuse Police Department accompanied by Jarda from the K9 Unit. Following the group discussions, the students participated in the trial of the Big Bad Wolf where three Skaneateles middle school students (the three little pigs) took the witness stand in support of AUSA Southwick’s prosecution the Big Bad Wolf. Randi Bianco, AFPD, represented the defendant. U.S. District Judge Brenda K. Sannes presided over the trial. Fortunately for Mr. Wolfe, he was acquitted by the jury.

June 7, 2022

Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks, U.S. Magistrate Judge, and her law clerk visited Liverpool High School to meet with 60 students in two classes who are in the Civil/Criminal Law elective offered here at the high school. The students ranged from 10th to 12th graders. Judge Dancks and her law clerk spoke to the students about their education, career paths, and experiences in court. The classes are currently learning how to do a mini, simplified mock trial, so the Judge talked about strategies for how to prepare a case for trial and answered the students’ questions about trials, the practice of law, and the work of the federal courts.