Desmond Law Society for Legal Alumni

September 24, 2017


Canisius graduates who serve in the legal profession have joined forces to mentor future law students and strengthen their bond with the college.

The newly formed Desmond Law Society is named in honor of the late Hon. Charles S. Desmond ᾿17, former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. The society is comprised of more than 1,000 alumni who are practicing, presiding or retired attorneys and judges throughout Western New York and 35 states across the nation. In addition, membership is open to friends of Canisius who have graduated from an accredited school of law or been admitted to the practice of law. 

“Our goals for the new society are to foster healthy relationships with our lawyer alumni as well as students and administrators at the college,” says Thomas G. Smith ᾿71, chair of the society’s board of directors. “We want to help the college recruit high school students interested in legal careers, mentor, provide internships for, and share our positive experiences with them.”

“The Desmond Law Society affords pre-law students with additional opportunities to gain exposure to all facets of the profession they wish to enter, and to expand the opportunities they have to interact with attorneys,” says Robert Klump ᾿79, director of the Raichle Pre-Law Center.  “Support from the society will provide assistance to some of the major pre-law activities at the college such as internships and the Mock Trial team.” 

In addition to Smith, the alumni board members include Kevin W. Spitler ᾿71, attorney, Kevin W. Spitler Esq. Law Offices, vice chair; Michael R. Mendola ᾿89, senior vice president and associate general counsel, HSBC Bank, secretary and treasurer; Robert A. Klump ᾿79, director of the Raichle Pre-Law Center at Canisius and John J. Hurley ᾿78, president of Canisius College.

Smith adds that the society will help students pursue legal careers after graduation. The group actively supports the mission of the Frank G. Raichle Pre-Law Center at Canisius by assisting in funding for scholarships and participating in academic, administrative and social activities at the college.

“We want to celebrate the achievements of both our pre-law students and our lawyer alumni,” says Smith. “I am confident our efforts will help energize students and allow our lawyer alumni to enjoy our common bond with the college.”

Click here for more information about the Desmond Law Society or call the Raichle-Pre Law Center at (716) 888-2884.