As 2021 comes to a close, we are thankful and grateful for all that we were able to accomplish this year.
As a firm, Hurwitz & Fine began the year with Business First as the eighth largest law firm in Buffalo for the second year in a row. We continued to grow, adding Insurance Coverage Attorneys, Scott Storm and Thomas Casella; growing our Albany presence with Scott Kagan; adding to our downstate Long Island office with Cara Pascarella and Jesse Siegel; and expanding our WNY litigation practice group with Nicholas Heintzman, Kara Eyre and Michael Williams. And we hired five associates pending admission this fall—the largest class of recent law school graduates in Hurwitz & Fine’s history.
Individually, our attorneys were committed to leadership roles in the community and championing diversity. Andrea Schillaci was sworn in as President of the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and Michael Perley was sworn in as President of the Erie County Bar Foundation Board. Anastasia McCarthy was honored at the 2021 IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity) Awards by Buffalo Business First and was also elected to the role of President-Elect of the WNY Chapter of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York. Evan Bussiere was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce and Ann Evanko was named the Best Lawyers 2022 Mediation "Lawyer of the Year" in Buffalo. Attorney Edward Robinson was named to The Daily Record's Power 20 Trusts & Estates List and Patricia Rauh was honored by Volunteer Lawyers Project as “Rising Champion for Justice” for her pro bono work. Our President & Managing Partner, Jody Briandi, was named to The Daily Record’s Power 50, Buffalo Business First’s 2021 Power 200 Women, and Women of Influence – Corporate Executive lists.
Firmwide, 21 Hurwitz & Fine attorneys were recognized by Best Lawyers in America® and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, and 28 attorneys were named to 2021 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list. Hurwitz & Fine ranked as a Tier One Law Firm in eight practice areas in U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, and was once again recognized as a Buffalo Business First Healthiest Employers finalist.
Continuing our commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion, Hurwitz & Fine announced its participation in the 2021 – 2023 Midsize Mansfield Rule Certification class. The law firm is the only Western New York firm to participate in the national diversity law firm certification process, which will last a rigorous 18 months. This certification is another positive step we are taking as a firm toward achieving our goals of creating and maintaining a diverse team of attorneys to partner with our clients. We rolled out our diversity clerkship program and formalized our revised pro bono program. Our internal D&I committee continued to plan firmwide educational events, and together with our Safety & Wellness committee, hosted several community service projects and drives to support ConnectLife, Buffalo United for Afghan Evacuees, the International Institute, and Child & Family Services.
Our attorneys continued to attend, present and educate at national conferences and local organizations—whether virtually or in-person—and publish as thought leaders.
We are proud of all that we were able to accomplish in 2021 despite the challenges of the pandemic, and we look forward to what will be achieved and ways we will give back in 2022.