A Note from the Dean
Dear alumni and friends:
Cornell Law School’s robust and thriving experiential learning program traces its roots back to March 1960. That’s when our very first clinic, the Legal Aid Clinic, opened its doors. An editorial in this magazine at the time noted how, with the advent of the new clinic, we were joining “the nation’s leading law schools which provide this service to the public and experience for its students. We wish it the best possible success in its endeavors.”
As it turned out, interest in the nascent Legal Aid Clinic grew quickly and to such an extent that by 1966 we became the first law school to receive permission to permit court appearances by third-year students working in the clinic. From these promising beginnings, the Law School’s clinical programs blossomed, and by the 1970s there were a variety of clinical opportunities for students. Today, Cornell Law School’s fifteen clinics are an essential part of our educational mission with nearly three-quarters of the class of 2015 taking at least one clinical course.
For our students, clinics are often one of the most enjoyable, educational, and meaningful experiences of their law school experience. Students in clinics gain practical legal skills beyond the scope of most traditional law school classes while providing badly needed legal assistance to those who could not otherwise afford it. And they learn to be advocates, to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves, and to stand up to injustice.
This issue of the magazine is an exploration of the power of clinics—to transform students as well as society. We begin with a cover story about the recently launched Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, the first center of its kind in the United States. Building on our faculty’s strength in the fields of human rights and capital punishment, the new center will help unite domestic and international efforts to address one of the most important issues of our time. Already home to one of the best capital punishment clinics of any elite law school, the addition of the Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide will provide new opportunities for our students and faculty to promote justice on a global scale.
In addition to Clinical Professor Sandra Babcock, who will serve as faculty director, this new Center will harness the collective expertise of Cornell Law School professors John Blume, Keir Weyble, and Sheri Lynn Johnson, who have extensive experience researching the death penalty and actively representing clients in capital cases here in the United States. The Center’s signature initiative will be the Makwanyane Institute, a summer program to bring capital defense lawyers from all over the globe together to share strategies on how to most effectively represent their clients.
The second feature article describes how a recent victory by the Innocence Clinic has profoundly changed the life of a central New York woman and impacted the students who worked on her case. This summer, after six years of painstaking work by students and Professors John Blume and Keir Weyble, the clinic won the release of Rachael Casey, who had served fourteen years for the alleged murder of her infant daughter. This story illustrates how the experiential opportunities of clinics also instill a sense of justice within our students, something that is at the center of the Law School’s mission to produce, in A.D. White’s words, “morally based lawyers.”
Beth Lyon, students provided free legal services to low-income immigrants in California and secured a precedent-setting ruling from the Board of Im- migration Appeals in Buffalo. This is yet another example of the power of clinics to provide students with hands- on experience while providing badly needed legal support to the disenfranchised and making incremental, but significant, progress on larger societal problems. If you are interested in more regular updates on the work of our cutting-edge legal clinics, be sure to follow the hashtag #CornellLawClinics on Twitter.
The focus of our third article is the tremendously successful first year of the Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic. Under the guidance of veteran clinician
On behalf of everyone at Myron Taylor Hall, I thank you for your continued loyalty and support.
Eduardo M. Peñalver
Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law
Cornell Law School is already one of the premier centers of capital punishment scholarship in the nation. Now it’s getting ready to expand that reputation on the global stage.
This fall, the Law School will cut the ribbon on a brand-new center that will bring together under one roof projects studying the death penalty in the United States and abroad and working to reform its application. The Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide will be funded by a $3.25 million grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies.
“This will be the first center in the United States to focus on the intersection between the global movement to abolish the death penalty and the domestic progress that we’ve made towards abolition,” said Sandra Babcock, the clinical professor of law who founded the new center and will serve as faculty director. “One of the goals of the center is to unite these parallel efforts, which to some extent have been taking place in isolation from one another.”
The Atlantic Philanthropies grant funding the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide was one of three announced at the Olin Lecture during Reunion 2016 by Cornell interim president Hunter R. Rawlings III and Atlantic president and CEO Christopher G. Oechsli. At the June 10 lecture, Oechsli said the grants demonstrated the belief of The Atlantic Philanthropies founder, Charles F. Feeney, a 1956 graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, in “big bets” that can “bring systemic changes for those who have experienced less than equal opportunity or great injustice.” Besides the grant to the Law School, Atlantic also gave $10 million for the Center for the Study of Inequality, located at the College of Arts and Sciences, and $3 million toward the establishment of the Cornell Welcome Center. These grants are among the last made by Atlantic. By the time the foundation makes its final grant commitments by the end of this year, it will have distributed more than $8 billion. Atlantic, in keeping with Feeney’s philosophy of “giving while living,” is by far the largest philanthropy ever intentionally to go out of business. In total, Atlantic will have provided almost $1 billion in grants to Cornell University since the foundation opened its doors in 1982. The Cornell Center on the Death Penalty World- wide’s major new initiative will be a summer institute that will bring capital defense lawyers from all over the globe together to share strategies on how to most effectively represent their clients. “I think lawyers in many countries are really thirsty for training and for knowledge about strategies that have been employed in other jurisdictions to limit the application of the death penalty,” said Babcock. “Lawyers in the United States who handle capital cases are typically required to have a certain level of experience, and to attend training sessions so that they acquire the skills necessary to defend people who could lose their lives. In most other countries, lawyers receive no formal training at all, and young lawyers straight out of law school may find themselves defending capital cases.”
However, Delphine Lourtau, who has just been hired as the center’s executive director, added that “the model isn’t to bring Global South lawyers to the United States and then have U.S. lawyers tell them what to do.”
“These institutes are going to be opportunities for exchange,” said Lourtau, who previously worked as research director of the Law School’s Death Penalty Worldwide project. “They will be a place for brainstorming, a place for sharing best practices and strategies that have worked, and for creating networks of capital lawyers who will continue to support each other in the coming years.” She said that the institute’s “train the trainers” model means that attendees will hopefully be equipped to lead training institutes of their own outside of Ithaca in the future.
The first institute will focus on common-law countries in sub- Saharan Africa, an area in which Babcock has a strong history; under her tutelage, the Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic has helped free dozens of prisoners sentenced to death in Malawi, and the Atlantic grant will allow her to continue that work, possibly expanding it to other Anglophone countries in the region. Future sessions of the institute will delve into the disparate strategies required by lawyers working in countries governed by different legal traditions, such as civil law jurisdictions, said Lourtau.
The summer institute’s official name—the Makwanyane Institute, honoring a landmark 1995 decision by the Constitutional Court of South Africa that declared capital punishment to be a violation of human rights protections enshrined in the South African constitution—gives a hint of the institute’s mission: to promote the sharing of disparate approaches toward fighting capital punishment. The South African court’s decision “draws upon not only international law, but also comparative law,” Lourtau notes. “It cites precedents from many jurisdictions around the world, including the U.S. Supreme Court. And in that sense it’s not only a very powerful moment in the global history of abolition. It’s also emblematic of the new center’s approach, which is to bring international human rights law to bear on the issue of capital punishment. This is a way the problem is not often framed in the United States.”
John Blume, Keir Weyble, and Sheri Lynn Johnson. Babcock says she expects they will have an active presence in the center, collaborating on the summer institute as well as on other research projects.
Cornell has an enviable concentration of legal scholars on its faculty both researching the death penalty and actively representing clients in capital cases, who, in addition to Babcock, include Professors
“We already have one of the most long-standing and well-developed capital punishment clinics and death penalty programs of any elite law school,” said Blume, the Samuel F. Leibowitz Professor of Trial Techniques and director of Clinical, Advocacy, and Skills Programs and the Cornell Death Penalty Project. “But the focus, up until when Sandra joined the faculty, has been domestic, working primarily in the South on capital cases. I think having this international dimension to it, and really doing something that nobody else is doing, will make the Law School clearly not only the most advanced but the most robust center for the study of the death penalty empirically—adding to our scholarly roles as leading empirical scholars of how capital punishment works— but also one of the leading litigation centers.”
Besides starting the summer institute, the Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide plans to continue—and expand upon—the type of research now carried out by Cornell’s Death Penalty Worldwide project, which was founded by Babcock in 2011 to provide information on the laws and practices of death penalty countries and advocate for their reform. Lourtau said the new center will continue a project examining mental health and capital punishment, and the many structural issues, like a lack of mental health professionals in many death penalty countries, that often prevent the identification of mental illness and intellectual disability in prisoners.
Another project will examine capital punishment through the lens of gender, which Lourtau said is often understudied because prisoners on death row are overwhelmingly male. “But we’ve found that women have very specific challenges when they are facing a death sentence,” Lourtau went on. “For instance, one of the things we’ve learned from the research we’ve started to conduct on this issue is that a disproportionate number of women who are sentenced to death for murder are sentenced to death for the murder of a close family member in the context of gender-based violence.”
While most of the center’s initiatives will have an international focus, it will also continue long-standing research by Johnson, the James and Mark Flanagan Professor of Law, into the arbitrary and discriminatory treatment of Latino people facing the death penalty in the United States. Besides Johnson’s work, the Latino Defendants Project will also build on Babcock’s experience representing the Mexican government in cases involving Mexican nationals facing the death penalty in the United States.
“There has been more scholarship on racial bias in capital sentencing in the United States than anywhere else. But we know anecdotally that this is an issue that is at an extremely high risk of unfolding in every criminal justice system,” said Lourtau. “The insights we’re going to gain from the Latino Defendants Project will help us identify methods to study the same phenomenon in other jurisdictions, and vice versa.” Lourtau added that this global approach will hopefully feed back into cases at home, by encouraging U.S. practitioners to bring to bear international statutes prohibiting ethnic and racial discrimination.
“Atlantic’s gift will allow the Law School to launch the first international center on capital punishment in the United States, building on the unique strength of Cornell Law School’s faculty in the fields of capital punishment and human rights,” said Eduardo M. Peñalver, the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law. “Capital punishment has emerged as one of the most important human rights issues in the twenty-first century, and I am immensely pleased that Atlantic has recognized our faculty’s leading role in this debate.”
On June 1, after serving fourteen years, Rachael Casey walked free from New York State’s Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, thanks to the tireless work of Cornell Law School professors John Blume and Keir Weyble and students from the Cornell Law School Innocence Clinic. According to Blume, “junk” arson science had helped to convict the Corning, New York, woman of setting the fire that killed her infant daughter in 2001.
A special prosecutor agreed to vacate all five of the charges on which Casey, 38, had been convicted, including two counts of second- degree murder and one count of first-degree arson, and which had carried a sentence of twenty-five years to life in prison. In exchange, Casey, who was represented by Professors Blume and Weyble of Cornell, as well as a Rochester attorney, Bill Easton, agreed to plead guilty—while maintaining her innocence—to reduced charges of second-degree attempted arson and second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to time served. Blume said Casey had agreed to do so only to avoid the emotional toll of another trial and to be reunited with her children as soon as possible.
That the Innocence Clinic will be winding down with the successful conclusion of Casey’s case is somewhat fitting—it was the case that launched the clinic in 2010. The clinic successfully took on a number of other cases over its lifetime, but its animating force was always the quest to obtain justice for Rachael Casey.
Casey’s case was where Joelle Mervin ’12, who participated in the clinic as a student and is now a National Labor Relations Board field attorney in Los Angeles, “really learned how to zealously represent and fight for someone.” Mervin says, “Having that experience with someone who was in jail, and who we believe is innocent, and actually really believing in it—it was my first opportunity learning how to really fight for something.”
The clinic’s founder, Christopher Seeds ’98, a capital defense attorney who was teaching at the Law School, had already been talking over the idea of an innocence clinic at Cornell with Blume when Easton first brought Casey to his attention. Her case had been getting some press, and Seeds began to realize its potential the more he researched the matter. “The problem with innocence work is that it takes so much investigation to determine how it’s wise to spend resources,” Seeds said. “It’s one of the challenges of the work, because it takes so much footwork to figure out whether this is a claim really worth pursuing or not, but Rachael’s case had so many things that were clearly red flags.”
Seeds and Blume designed the clinic to meet a number of needs not being served by organizations working on exonerations at the time, like the New York City–based Innocence Project. “The entire idea of this project was that it was going to be located upstate, primarily in the central and western part of the state, and try to provide an investigative service, a legal representation service, for individuals who had wrongful convictions claims that probably wouldn’t get the same attention as somebody in New York City would,” says Seeds, who since leaving Cornell has been pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology at New York University.
Blume, the Samuel F. Leibowitz Professor of Trial Techniques and director of Clinical, Advocacy, and Skills Programs and the Cornell Death Penalty Project, highlights another opportunity: most innocence programs at the time only took cases involving DNA evidence. “They would not take cases unless there was the potential of finding and testing biological material which, if analyzed using DNA testing, could exonerate the inmate claiming innocence,” says Blume, who took over supervising the clinic together with Weyble after Seeds departed. “It was my opinion then (and now) that there was a need for innocence clinics that would take cases where there was not DNA evidence but nevertheless appeared to be strong indicators of a wrongful conviction.”
In 2012, Blume, Weyble, and Easton filed a motion to vacate Casey’s conviction. Casey’s original conviction had hinged on testimony from a fire inspector that intentional human involvement had caused the blaze that killed seven-month-old Kiara Casey Lawton. However, her new legal team argued that the inspector had relied on techniques that were woefully out-of- date and unsupported by science. Casey’s court-appointed attorney had failed to put up an adequate defense, they said, since he had been unaware of newer inspection methods that were widely accepted by the 2003 court date, and had failed to challenge the prosecution’s expert.
The fire inspector’s testimony relied on two indications that allegedly pointed to arson: a swirl pattern supposedly from flammable liquid that had been poured on the floor, and the detection of accelerants by an arson inspection dog. However, Weyble says, guidelines that were well established by the 1990s showed that the swirl was actually caused by a condition called flashover, which occurs when built-up heat from an enclosed fire causes the spontaneous ignition of combustibles.
As for the dog, none of the nine samples taken tested positive for accelerants in a lab. “The prosecution’s explanation for that was, ‘Well, when in doubt, I believe the dog, because the dog is more reliable than the lab,’” says Weyble, associate clinical professor of law and director of Death Penalty Litigation. “Which is exactly wrong, according to well-settled scientific consensus. But the defense lawyer didn’t know that and didn’t bother to make the point.”
Steuben County Court Judge Marianne Furfure initially issued an order in 2013 denying the defense’s claims without hearing any evidence. However, the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department, overturned that judgment in November 2015, sending the matter back to Furfure. An evidentiary hearing was set for May 31 and June 1. “Both sides were on a collision course with the evidence, and as we got closer to that, we felt very good,” Weyble says. “And from my perspective, I think as we got closer it began to become clear to the other side that they didn’t have such a good case.
“That creates the opportunity for negotiation,” he says. “And that’s how we ended up with that agreement.”
Innocence Clinic students have spent years building the case for Casey’s release, doing everything from looking into fire inspection best practices to researching psychology and trauma to explain why Casey made conflicting statements during the investigation and trial. Melissa Gallo ’12 remembers tracking down and interviewing jurors who had voted to convict Casey; given that two juries had deadlocked before a third eventually convicted Casey, Gallo wanted to get a better idea of what had played out in the jury room during that final trial.
“When we spoke to the jurors, it was clear that some of them had not paid attention to anything in the trial other than the fact that a baby’s life was lost and somebody needed to be blamed for that,” said Gallo, now policy director at the advocacy group Miami Homes for All.
Maria Gaige ’16, one of the last clinic students to work on Casey’s case, accompanied Weyble to the courthouse in Bath, New York, on June 1 to witness Casey’s release. Casey had been barred by the state from having any contact with her three surviving daughters until they turned eighteen, which for the youngest happened earlier this year, and they are just starting to rebuild ties. “Her kids were super excited, her mom was really excited, she was really excited,” said Gaige, who is now working at the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department. “I think she was just in disbelief that it was going to happen.”
Even amid the celebration, though, there are reminders of the toll taken by fourteen years behind bars. While sitting with Casey waiting for her release to be processed, Weyble and Easton took out their smartphones. “And she looked at us and said, ‘Are those phones?’” Weyble says. “She’s been removed. I mean, she had no idea.”
The Law School’s Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic is one of the only legal clinics in the United States to provide assistance to farmworkers, and one of the first to serve rural immigrant communities. In March and April 2016, the clinic traveled to California’s Central Valley to conduct its first alternative spring break legal outreach trip.
Mario Roque ’17, Michelle Lee ’17, and Casie Orellana ’17 participated in the outreach trip under the supervision of Ron Hochbaum, clinical teaching fellow, and Beth Lyon, clinical professor of law and director of the Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic.
The clinic partnered with the United Farm Workers and its community outreach arm, the United Farm Workers Foundation (UFWF), to provide free legal services to low-income immigrants. Law School students
“As a first generation immigrant who grew up in California, I know some of the challenges the people we served face day in and day out,” said Roque. “I am so glad Cornell offered this opportunity.”As a first generation immigrant who grew up in California, I know some of the challenges the people we served face day in and day out. I am so glad Cornell offered this opportunity.
The students provided direct legal services in the areas of immigration, public benefits, and consumer law. In addition to providing legal services, the students helped UFWF organizers register new citizens and high school seniors to vote.
“The trip was a great success,” said Lyon. “I could think of no better partner for our annual outreach than the United Farm Workers—the group that got the farmworker movement off the ground.” Professor Lyon reported the clinic intends to conduct another outreach trip to California during spring break next year, with even more participants. Since the spring semester, funding for the outreach trip has quadrupled, which will allow the clinic to increase the number of students participating from three to ten to twelve. With the additional students, Lyon says they’ll be able to provide mobile legal services in multiple locations in central California.
Before the end of their trip, the students had the opportunity to meet with leaders of the farmworker movement. On Cesar Chavez Day, March 31, Roque, Lee, and Orellana met with United Farm Workers president Arturo Rodríguez. The following day, the students met with labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta in her offices at the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
“The trip was an amazing experience,” said Orellana. “Last year, I spent spring break worrying about finals, but this year I put to use the valuable skills I am learning at Cornell to help people in the community.”
Teaching fellow Ron Hochbaum, a 2007 graduate of Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, is a staff attorney with the Homeless Action Center in Berkeley, California, and joined the clinic faculty to organize and supervise the trip. “It’s wonderful to have Cornell Law students in California providing these badly needed services,” said Hochbaum. ~ RH
Clinic Students Win Rare Decision from Board of Immigration Appeals
In late 2015, three teams of Cornell Law School clinic students, poised to represent their clients at the immigration court in Buf-falo, New York, were turned away. The judge denied the teams’ motions to appear in court, citing, in two of the cases, interpreter problems that were slowing down the docket; his implication was that allowing students to argue cases would cause further delay. The students did not give up. As the teams continued to advocate for their clients, the Bar Association of Erie County filed an interlocutory appeal on their behalf, and dozens of clini- cians submitted an amicus brief in support. This February, in an unprecedented move, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ordered that the students be permitted to practice in court.
A number of federal rules permit students to practice in court under attorney supervision. Cornell’s Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic and Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic are among the Law School’s many clinics that invoke these rules, both to give students hands-on experience and to provide vital support to clients who would not otherwise have access to legal representation. Both clinics were involved in the Buffalo immigration court cases.
In the fall semester, LGBT clinic participants Nicole Gonzalez ’17 and Dustin Lee ’16 were preparing for a high-stakes evidentiary hearing in their client’s asylum case when their motion was denied by the immigration judge. Then, on the day of the hearing, the court continued the case to the next year, when Gonzalez and Lee would no longer be participating in the clinic; therefore, despite the BIA’s decision, their client will not have them by his side in court. Their case will be taken on by a new team of students.
“Nicole and I worked many hours throughout a number of weeks to prepare for our case,” says Lee.“We became committed to the case both intellectually and emotionally. So it was a great disappointment when the immigration judge chose to deny our motion to practice before him, especially without giving any reason. I was delighted to hear that the BIA, which usually does not entertain interlocutory appeals, overturned the immigration judge’s decision. Clinics are an integral part of the representation of the disenfranchised and indigent, and it’s heartening to see the BIA recognize the hard work of clinic students everywhere.”
Also denied the chance to represent her client in court was farmworker clinic student Maria Gaige ’16. Her client continues to receive representation through the clinic, now by students Will Pellett ’17, Mario Roque ’17, and Brianna Stellpflug ’16. Following the BIA decision, their entries of appearance were granted; Pellett appeared on the client’s behalf in March.
Fellow farmworker clinic students Benjamin Einhouse ’17 and Sarah Estabrook ’17 did have a chance to see their case through from the fall into the spring semester. Their client, “Josue,” is a seventeen-year-old who, because of dangerous conditions and dire poverty in Guatemala, was sent to the United States by his parents. Initially detained by the Department of Homeland Security, he was released to the care of his uncle, who lives in farmworker housing in rural New York, as his deportation proceedings continued. The Worker Justice Center of New York sought to assist Josue, but had trouble finding a lawyer to represent him, and he was on the verge of deportation when the farmworker clinic took his case.
Einhouse, Estabrook, and interpreter Diego Echeandia ’17 made several six-hour round-trip drives to meet with Josue and coordinate with his uncle, his new school, his housemate, his family, the dairy owner who employed his uncle, and local service providers. Einhouse and Estabrook were standing in court, ready to present on their first day, when the judge denied them entry of appearance. As they awaited the interlocutory appeal, they continued to work for their client, obtaining a custody order in county court to aid his progress toward legal residency while repeatedly submitting motions to the immigration court to delay deportation proceedings. They never did get to represent Josue in court, but only because their motions succeeded: in February the court terminated removal proceedings to allow Josue to focus on obtaining his visa.
“If he succeeds, Josue will have the right to apply to adjust his status to that of a permanent resident, giving him a clearer path out of poverty,” says Professor Lyon.
Of the BIA’s decision to grant the clinics’ interlocutory appeals and allow the students to represent their clients in court, Lyon says, “The Board of Immigration Appeals had never spoken on this issue, and we’re delighted to receive decisions that express such strong support for the importance of student practice in removal proceedings. Our clients are typically people who have experienced significant trauma in addition to having little opportunity for formal education. We owe them the support Cornell Law students provide as well as the expertise they bring to the process. The courts will not provide lawyers for indigent people in removal proceedings, not even for children. In the face of the unexpected disallowance of their participation, the students responded with commendable professionalism and zeal, ensuring their clients were protected.”
“Tom had great affection for the Law School, both for the education he received and for how he was beautifully rewarded,” says Marion Clement of her late husband, Thomas Clement, LLB ’59.
Clement could easily have missed out on his law degree from Cornell; two times, life intervened as he neared his goal. His ultimate success was enabled in part by the aid of a friend and adviser, and Tom remembered that kindness for the rest of his life. His own kindness will be remembered in the Cornell Law community for years to come.
Tom began his studies at Cornell in 1954, after graduating from St. Lawrence University alongside his new wife Marion. He had nearly completed his study of law at Cornell when he was called to active duty in the army, just before he took his final exams.
Though he had not yet received his degree, he was able to put his legal education to use, serving in the JAG Corps at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana. After completing his two years of service, he returned to Ithaca with Marion and resumed classes at the Law School.
By this time, the couple was raising their first child. They were also both working to make ends meet, Marion at a business office and Tom at a jeweler’s, selling rings to fraternities and sororities. “We lived in somebody’s basement,” Marion remembers, adding that when her parents visited, her father cried at the meagerness of their accommodations and her mother worried they would get typhoid. “Oh, but it was wonderful. They were wonderful years,” she says. Ithaca and Cornell were dear to the Clements, and they made many close friends there.
When Marion became pregnant with the couple’s second child, however, they realized that they would no longer be able to support their family and put Tom through his remaining year of law school. They decided they must move elsewhere to seek work, with Tom taking classes at night if possible. Tom went to his adviser, Professor Ernie Warren, to tell him he would have to drop out. “The hell you will,” Warren replied.
“Bless his heart,” says Marion. Warren was able to arrange for Clement to receive a full scholarship for his final year and also gave him a loan for living expenses. “We were ready to pack the dishes,” says Marion. Instead, the family stayed in Ithaca, and Tom earned his degree.
Clement went on to a long and rewarding legal career in Rochester, New York. He began at the law firm of Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle, where he quickly became a partner focusing on corporate law. During a period of growth for the Rochester business community, he worked as a counselor to Gannett and Genesee Brewing Company, as well as scores of other companies. As chair and member of the firm’s Management Committee, Clement guided Nixon Hargrave’s successful expansion to New York City and Washington, D.C. He helped establish the Genesee Country Village and Museum in the 1960s and served the organization for nearly fifty years, and he also provided support to the Hochstein Music School, McQuaid Jesuit High School, and Our Lady of Mercy High School.
The life the Clements built would have looked quite different, Marion observes, without the Law School and Professor Warren. The couple kept in touch with Warren until his death in 1986. It was one of many Cornell friendships that they main- tained through the years, including several among members of the strong alumni community in Rochester.
The Clements not only took memories and friendships with them when they departed Cornell but have also left behind a legacy. In the spring of 2016, shortly after Tom’s passing that March, his and Marion’s granddaughter Allie Clement graduated from Cornell. Around the same time, the Law School received a bequest from Tom’s estate.
“The Clements’ gift to Cornell is a touching example of Cornellians paying it forward,” says Eduardo M. Peñalver, Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law. “Their generosity will be tremendously helpful as we continue our push to expand our scholarship support for current and future Cornell Law students.” Tom Clement would surely be pleased to know he is playing a part in the beginning of a new generation’s exciting careers and lifelong friendships.