2015 NYLS Commencement Speaker and Honorees

THE HONORABLE CYRUS R. VANCE, JR., DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF NEW YORK COUNTY, AND JOSEPH PLUMERI, VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE FIRST DATA BOARD OF DIRECTORS,TO RECEIVE HONORARY DEGREES AND DELIVER ADDRESSES AT NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL’S 123RD COMMENCEMENT, MAY 19

VINCENT A. CARBONELL, TRUSTEE AND PRESIDENT OF UNITED REPROGRAPHIC SERVICES INC., TO RECEIVE PRESIDENT’S MEDAL

THE HONORABLE FAVIOLA SOTO, JUDGE, NEW YORK STATE COURT OF CLAIMS,TO RECEIVE KATHLEEN GRIMM AWARD

New York, NY (May 4, 2015)— Cyrus R. Vance Jr., District Attorney of New York County and Joseph Plumeri, Vice Chairman of the First Data Board of Directors will address the graduates at New York Law School’s 123rd Commencement on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. at Carnegie Hall. Plumeri, who studied at New York Law School, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in honor of his illustrious, lifelong career in finance, which enticed him away from the law. District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his work as a renowned national leader in the field of criminal justice. Dr. Vincent A. Carbonell (Class of 2000) will receive the President’s Award.  The Honorable Faviola Soto (Class of 1978) will receive the first Kathleen Grimm Award, named for the late, much-lauded Deputy Chancellor of Operations at the New York City Department of Education and NYLS Trustee and Alumna (Class of 1980).

“For nearly 125 years New York Law School has carried on a proud tradition of delivering an exceptional legal education to students as diverse as the City we call home. Throughout our history, our Law School graduates have confronted challenges with unflagging drive and tenacity. Our honorees this year—Joseph Plumeri, Cyrus Vance Jr., Dr. Vincent Carbonell, and Judge Faviola Soto—represent the best in their fields, exemplars of the commitment to excellence and purpose that we seek to instill in our students,” said Anthony Crowell, Dean and President. “We are delighted to recognize them as leaders, respectively, in business, the bench and law enforcement, and as extraordinary members of the New York Law School community.”

Joseph Plumeri, a widely renowned leader in the financial services industry, is Vice Chairman of the First Data Board of Directors and also leads the company’s client delivery, innovation, and marketing organization. In addition to his role as senior advisor to the Chairman and CEO, the teams working under Mr. Plumeri’s direction are responsible for all of First Data’s global sales. He is also a senior advisor to Kolberg Kravis Roberts, the leading global investment firm, of which First Data is a portfolio company.   Mr. Plumeri previously served for 12 years as Chairman and CEO of Willis Group Holdings plc, the global insurance brokerage. Prior to joining Willis, Plumeri had a 32-year career at Citigroup and its predecessor companies. As CEO of Citibank North America, he led the integration of the consumer businesses at Citicorp and Travelers Group. Mr. Plumeri attended NYLS in the 1960s. Recruited by Sanford Weill, he left school soon after starting to work at the brokerage firm Carter, Berlind & Weill, a predecessor to Shearson. After nearly 50 years, he will finally receive a law degree from NYLS.

Cyrus R. Vance Jr. was first sworn in as the District Attorney of New York County on January 1, 2010. Over the following four years, Mr. Vance enhanced the District Attorney’s Office as a national leader in criminal justice by expanding its expertise on an array of 21st century crimes. His many achievements as District Attorney include the takedown of violent street gangs, dismantling domestic and international cybercrime and identity theft operations, the first local terrorism convictions in New York State courts, and the recovery of billions of dollars from international financial institutions that had been engaged in violating international sanctions. Mr. Vance was reelected in 2013. In recent months, he has taken a national leadership role in addressing the issue of race in the criminal justice system, including commissioning a study by the nonpartisan Vera Institute of Justice to evaluate the office’s practices in charging, plea-bargaining, and bail.

Dr. Vincent A. Carbonell (Class of 2000) is Founder and President of United Reprographic Services, a leader in the New York reprographic industry. Founded in 1988, United Reprographic Services serves architects, engineers, construction firms, and government agencies. Moreover, Dr. Carbonell provides the Nova Ancora program of the New York City Department of Probation with employment opportunities and job skills training for young first-time offenders. He also created a new division within the company that addresses the legal market through the production of court exhibits, graphic representations, and replications of legal documents. Starting in 2013, he has been a partner in a real estate firm that provides 10,000 units of affordable housing throughout the Southeast and Midwest. Dr. Carbonell created the Carbonell Fellowship in Law and Policy in 2003. The Carbonell Fellowship program honors his father, Ricardo Carbonell, a long-time trade-union activist, and local and national leader of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, UFCW, AFL-CIO. The Carbonell Fellowships reward outstanding NYLS students for their commitment to social justice and give them an opportunity to contribute to their field of interest.

Judge Faviola Soto (Class of 1978) is the first Dominican judge in New York and the first Hispanic to sit in the Court of Claims. She attended New York Law School on a full scholarship and began her legal career working at Bronx Legal Services in 1978, providing free legal services to indigents. She entered into private practice in 1980 and continued as a solo practitioner in 1982, running a general civil and criminal practice in Manhattan and the Bronx. During that time she also presided over Child Support cases as a Hearing Examiner in Family Court. For almost 10 years she specialized in the areas of Family Court working as an 18B attorney. In 1993, she was selected to run for a judgeship in the 7th Municipal District, which is composed of Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, and Inwood, and was elected to the Civil Court of the City of New York. She was re-elected in 2003, serving until 2006; she also served as Acting Justice on the Supreme Court of New York County, appointed by then Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman, from 2002 to 2006. She has served on the New York State Court of Claims, to which she was appointed by Governor George Pataki, since 2006.

Carnegie Hall was the site of the first NYLS first commencement in 1892.  Both institutions opened in 1891 and have long celebrated innovation and the pursuit of excellence.  After nearly 125 years, each remains an integral part of New York City’s heritage.

NYLS will graduate 347 candidates for the Juris Doctor (J.D.) and 26 candidates for the Master of Laws (LL.M.).

About New York Law School

Founded in 1891, New York Law School (NYLS) is an independent law school located in the heart of New York City’s legal, government, financial, and emerging tech centers. Known as “New York’s law school,” NYLS embraces the City as its classroom by complementing a rigorous legal education with an innovative and diverse set of “uniquely New York” experiential learning opportunities. Since opening its doors nearly 125 years ago, NYLS has produced graduates who have gone on to hold high elected and appointed office in the City, lead large and small firms, and gained broad recognition as captains of business and industry. Its renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in key areas of the law, including business and finance; government and public interest; and intellectual property, media, technology and applied sciences. NYLS has more than 17,000 graduates and currently enrolls approximately 1,000 full-time and part-time students in its J.D. programs. The Law School also offers advanced-degree programs in American Business Law and Tax Law. The National Jurist rated NYLS No. 1 for clinical and experiential learning in New York State and No. 13 nationally. It also rated NYLS No. 15 nationally for its graduate Tax program. The New York Law Journal rated NYLS No. 1 for its graduate American Business Law program.

 

Learn more about New York’s law school at www.nyls.edu.