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James L. Magavern ’59 leaves behind a legacy of teaching – School of Law

James L. Magavern ’59 leaves behind a legacy of teaching – School of Law

With the new passing of James L. Magavern ’59, UB College of Law acknowledges the decline of one particular of its longest-serving and fantastic adjunct school users and the wealthy understanding of point out and regional finance regulation that he brought to generations of college students.

“Jim was a challenging act to follow,” says William F. Savino ’75, companion in the Buffalo place of work of Woods Oviatt Gillman, LLP. Like Magavern, Savino has taught for many decades as an adjunct at the law faculty. “He always explained law is a teachable, learnable craft. He never ever assumed it was anything you ended up born with. It’s anything you follow and best.”

Professor Emeritus Barry Boyer, who served as UB Law dean from 1992 to 1998, remembers a practitioner who created a potent collegial romantic relationship with the school’s whole-time college by virtue of his mental generosity and his willingness to engage the good questions of regulation.

“Jim had solid personal relationships with the college and crafted them with all those of us who ended up far more junior faculty at the time, just since he was this kind of an intriguing and approachable person,” Boyer suggests. “His function and his track record gave him a stature and regard that it’s possible some others wouldn’t always have. It also mirrored in Jim’s theoretical bent. You could interact him at any stage, from the nuts and bolts of filing a brief all the way up to what the principle of municipal governments need to be.”

When the regulation university reimagined its curriculum in the mid-1990s, Boyer states, the regulation school’s Point out and Local Federal government Application was a product for revising the curriculum to extra extensively integrate the theory of law with factors of lawful practice. Together with Professors Milton Kaplan and Bill Greiner, and afterwards Medical Professor George Hezel ’73, Magavern was a central figure in that method. “Within that series of courses,” Boyer suggests, “a pupil who was intrigued in doing the job with or in community governing administration could get a really solid basis.” He provides that Magavern drew crowds of students to his lecture system on municipal finance.

Magavern’s interest in authorized schooling prolonged to college scholarship, mainly by way of the Magavern Fellows Fund, founded in 1985 by Jim Magavern’s father, Sam, in honor of Jim’s grandfather, William J. Magavern. Now endowed by way of the generous assist of the Magavern family members, the fund gives aid for the legislation school’s most promising college customers, permitting them to do critical operate in their regions of fascination. Above the three decades given that it was proven, multiple Magavern School Students have designed their academic professions and superior the analyze of legislation through regulation overview posts, monographs and publications. The legislation school’s existing William J. Magavern College Scholars are Professor Irus Braverman and Professor S. Todd Brown, who is also vice dean for educational affairs.

Amongst the several accolades Jim Magavern received all through his lifetime was the Edwin F. Jaeckle Award, in 2001, the greatest honor bestowed by the regulation college and the Legislation Alumni Affiliation for exemplifying the best beliefs of the regulation university and for his substantial contributions to the school and the legal career.

Users of the regulation school school, earlier and current, replicate on the existence and legacy of their good friend and colleague.

Remembering ‘the product lawyer’

Jim was a joy to be all over. Engaged, interested and attention-grabbing, earnest, embracing the several experiences and meanings of lifestyle, significant but with a superb warm smile and snicker, really wise but also extremely smart, committed, focused, humane, and certainly loyal to his clientele, good friends and group. He had a finely honed sense of justice and an impatience for these who averted wondering about the distinction amongst appropriate and mistaken.

We thought of Jim as the model lawyer. The Model Principles of Skilled Obligation defines a attorney as a “public citizen with exclusive accountability for the high quality of justice.” That was Jim, normally reflective of the job, and conscious of the pressure occasionally between symbolizing clientele both private and public and the greater very good, normally thoughtful about the mother nature, craft and requires of authorized follow. He was the really embodiment of what was once called “civic virtue.”
– Dianne Avery ’82 and Fred Konefsky
Professors Emeritus

The quite tiny college I joined together with Ken Joyce in 1964 was inevitably joined component time by Jim Magavern, I assume mostly as an adjunct. I under no circumstances understood any one like Jim, a straight-in advance reasonable Republican seemingly no extended in existence. He applied to remind me of Jimmy Stewart, tall, slim, tranquil and specified but ready to hear to other sights.

Jim’s perception of accountability to the community was, to me, exceptional. He would toss himself into nearby projects simply because, after all, which is what you should do. I recall that he served for a time as Erie County lawyer.

And then there was his superb, heat and witty partner, Robin. Often I would journey home with her and her rambunctious kids. They had good pleasurable with me, who was, at only 26, hoping to appear mature in my topcoat and hat.
– James Atleson
Professor Emeritus

When I arrived to Buffalo as a UB college member in the 1970s, I knew a several issues about the law college, but pretty much nothing at all about the community legal community and the town. Jim Magavern was a single of my windows on this earth. Nevertheless he was usually quiet and self-effacing, Jim was enormously gifted and enormously general public-spirited. A dialogue with him about probable redevelopment of the location became a grasp class in general public coverage, politics and regulation.

I figured out that Jim was a person you could always rely on, whether the process at hand was training a crucial seminar on regional govt, delivering fantastic lawful products and services, or shepherding a damaged canoe and amateur paddlers out of a tough wilderness. For several years, Jim was my own law firm and my mate. I never imagine you could locate a better law firm, or a much better friend.
– Barry Boyer
Previous Dean and Professor Emeritus

Maggie and I keep in mind Jim and Robin for their enduring friendship, for their unsparing kindness, for their sensible counsel and steerage, for all our terrific occasions together—lots of fun and really serious discussions, and tennis, hikes and cross-nation snowboarding in the hills south of Buffalo, whitewater functioning in Canada and just wandering about the Buffalo they treasured. “Thank you” does not really seize our inner thoughts. It can be a deep, coronary heart-embraced thank-you with appreciate and admiration woven via it.
– Tom Headrick
Previous Dean and Professor Emeritus

When I realized of Jim Magavern’s passing, I did a little something I just about never ever do: shared the news on Facebook. I explained Jim as a great guy, and a good gentleman. From when my spouse and I arrived in Buffalo in the early 1980s, right until the current, he was remarkably kind and beneficial to us every time the situation arose. So far as I know, he treated everybody that way. Therefore, he was really a great deal liked by a good quite a few individuals.

At the identical time, Jim was a guy with an immense commitment to addressing the critical troubles of his time. He did so regularly and worked at the greatest stages of company and federal government. I have recognised a number of folks who have been type and generous like Jim, and a amount who ended up politically fully commited and essential like Jim—but really number of who had been equally.
– Errol Meidinger
Professor Emeritus

Jim was an exceptional trainer at the regulation university, in which he in the beginning served as an assistant and associate professor from 1966 to 1971. Soon after becoming a member of his loved ones legislation agency, he ongoing educating at the regulation school for the upcoming 30 years as an adjunct professor.

I co-taught a program for 3 many years with my colleague Frank Munger and Jim. We satisfied weekly with the seminar Jim was instructing about the Buffalo City Constitution revision efforts ongoing underneath his management, to function carefully with Buffalo’s company counsel, to supervise college students in the authorized representation of the Metropolis Charter revision procedure, and to existing their investigation and conclusions to the fee.

Jim built intricate finance regulation crystal clear and compelling. He was generous with his time spent with college students and was a joy to train with. I uncovered a lot of what I know of municipal finance and governance from him.
– Nils Olsen
Previous Dean and Professor Emeritus

Our discussions have been pretty substantially constantly about New York, but they became additional centered as my scholarly pursuits shifted to the background of the region’s financial system. Jim’s “comments”—they were being constantly too wide to be imagined of as just answers—on my inquiries ended up always useful.

I taught with Jim only the moment and it was exciting, but it was even improved to have been a student at the intermittent classes he held just for me for so lots of decades. A number of several years back, I had the probability to repay him by using to his residence a substantial, bizarre map of Buffalo that showed the city from the west, centered on Ferry Street, not north and south as just about every other map I have at any time found. I remember him rolling out the map on his living space floor, getting down on his knees and cautiously analyzing the old relationships that these an orientation built new once again. I now overlook this energetic, usually inquiring head.
– John Henry Schlegel
College at Buffalo Distinguished Professor