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Lois Knight, BU Law Professor of 37 years, Announces Retirement

Lois Knight

A distinguished member of the BU Law faculty for 37 years, Lois Knight has announced her retirement at the end of this year.

Professor Knight earned a B.S. from Tufts University and a J.D. from Georgetown University. Before joining the School of Law faculty in 1977, she was a VISTA volunteer and staff attorney for Legal Services for Cape Cod and the Islands, and assistant regional counsel for the Department of Public Welfare in Boston.

Since 1995, she has been director of the Clinical and Advocacy Programs, holding administrative responsibility for the programs’ skills curriculum. In addition to overseeing these popular offerings, she serves as faculty advisor for the School of Law’s Concentration in Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

As Clinical Professor of Law in the Civil Litigation Program, Professor Knight is a teacher, supervisor, mentor and colleague to students representing indigent clients in civil cases. In the Legal Externship Program she helps students identify suitable field placements that meet their individual interests and career goals. She supervises these students who intern in a variety of work settings, working on issues related to children's law, civil rights and human rights, education law, IP law, and environmental law. She also teaches a seminar focusing on legal ethics.

Throughout her career at BU Law, Professor Knight has worked tirelessly to bring to students the most effective and innovative clinical programs. She received the Silver Shingle Alumni Award in April 2003 for Distinguished Service to the School of Law.

Professor Knight says that her work is never the same and never boring. “Every year there are new students, with new interests,” she says. “Like many professors in the School of Law, I take great joy in helping them learn, seeing them mature into thoughtful, competent practitioners and watching their future successes.”

Make a gift to BU Law in Professor Knight's honor.

Guestbook Entries

Dear Lois: Congratulations on your retirement. Hopefully now you will have plenty of time for another trip back to Australia. Thanks for all of your years of service at the clinic, I learned a great deal from you. Fondly, Katherine

Katherine Heid Harris, Class of 2003

Dear Lois, Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement. I feel fortuate to have had the benefit of your tutelage and guidance, and I continue to regularly use the practical skills you taught me more than a decade ago. I'm sure you have plans to travel, and I wish you a very happy and relaxing retirement.

Michael Barkley, Class of 2003

I wish you all the best as you embark on this new chapter in your life! Please be in touch in the future. If you ever find yourself back in Chicago I would love to take you out for a meal and drinks to celebrate. Kind regards, Brandon

Brandon Barela, Former student, Mentee, Friend, Class of 2013

Lois, congratulations on moving on to the next stage of your life. This is a very small world as I remember running into you at Housing Court in the clinical programs earlier in both of our carreers. Jack Wallace

Jack Wallace, LLM Banking Law Lecturer in Law LLM Banking Program, Class of 1987

Hi Lois-- the extenship program was one of the highlights of my time at BU. I have always appreciated your insight and tutelage, not to mention your patience with my voluminous journal entries! I have enjoyed our chats since I returned to BU in December 2009. Congrats and all best to you on your well-deserved retirement. Cheers, Ian

Ian C. Pilarczyk, BU Law, Class of 1995

Dear Lois-congratulations on a remarkable career at BU Law! You were so helpful to me when I began as Dean of Students, and you have been a joy to work with. We have been very lucky to have you. All best wishes, Chris Marx

Chris Marx, BU Law

I was a mentee of Jeff Winnik in the GBLS program circa 1982. Although you were not my supervisor, I recall several occassions on which you approached me in the GBLS office to discuss my cases. The fact that you took an interest in what I was doing and offered to help meant a lot to me. I am now a full time litigator in New York, and my experience in the clinic gave me a great background and some incredibly good tools. Best of luck as you enter this new phase!

Josh Kardisch, Esq., Partner, Kardisch Law Group, Class of 1984

Congratulations! I remember fondly my externship experience and the momentous influence it had on my career direction. All the best for your retirement.

Peter Stewart, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, Class of 1994

I was fortunate indeed to have Prof. Lois Knight as my mentor in the Civil Clinic. She gave me the benefit of her full attention and her broad intellect as well as her pragmatism and humor. I wish her a retirement as full and fruitful as the many stages of her life have been until now.

Anna Bastian, Sole Practitioner, Class of 1995

Lois, Congratulations on your retirement and thank you for setting me on the path to becoming a clinical professor. You are a wonderful teacher and mentor and I owe you a debt of gratitude. Also, I will never forget Lois Knight and the Pips...

Bill Berman, Clinical Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School, Class of 1986

Professor Knight, My very fondest memories of BUSL are of the Crimininal Clinic and the amazing faculty of all the clinical programs. Under your leadership, the clinical programs have made a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of students and many more people in the community we serve. The very best to you on the next part of your journey!

William (Skip) Fisher, Alumni, Class of 1997

Lois, We have been friends for 50 years and I have followed every step of your life path. Your retirement from BU Law School is a major milestone. You have wonderful memories, colleagues, and former students. Filling your shoes will be a huge task. I am wishing you an easy transition into retirement; I look forward to spending more time with you! You should feel so very proud of your extensive career! xoxoxo

Suzie Hill, Old friend; really old

Dear Lois, I just wanted to send my best wishes to you on your retirement. From all these other comments, I know you were a wonderful teacher, mentor and friend to many students at BU. They were lucky to have you in their lives- as those of us from Nfld are still lucky to have you as a close friend. Welcome to retirement!! It only gets better from here!! Jeffy

Jeffy Dunmire, Northfield, long time friend

Lois, congratulations on your retirement and your outstanding teaching career! I have many wonderful memories of my clinic experiences, working under your tutelage. To this day I draw on advocacy skills you taught me. (And let's not forget the role you played in my attending BUSL in the first place!) I am forever grateful to you for all these things. I am sorry I will miss your send off in May.

Chris Jennings, Clinic Participant, Mentee, Class of 2002

Lois - wonderful working with you, especially the last few years getting my Affordable Housing Externship going. Thanks for all the help, and enjoy retirement. Let me know if you are ever on the Cape, let's get together. All the best, Peter

Peter Freeman, Adjunct Professor of Law, Class of 1975

My best wishes for your new ventures and adventures, Lois. Thirty years after participating the clinical program, I still find the experiences helpful in my career.

Irene Bleiweiss, US Govt, Washington, D.C., Class of 1984

Hi Professor Knight, I just saw the announcement of your retirement, and I wanted to write and wish you well. My time in the judicial externship and the course you taught accompanying it were highlights of my law school experience. All the best!

Patrick Cento, Former student, Class of 2012

Lois: After 30 years of work as a trial lawyer, I still think back with great admiration for the work you have done in the Civil Litigation program, and particularly with a very green, very enthusiastic, and very clueless young advocate when I was in the program. I learned so much in that year, and I apply the lessons I learned under your supervision and from you -- in procedure; in courtroom technique; in litigation tactics; in negotiation; and in professional courtesy on a daily basis. You were a mentor and a friend, and I, and countless other trial lawyers who went through the program, owe you a great debt.

I transferred to BU Law from Northwestern specifically to participate in the clinical litigation program, and you absolutely justified that decision. In many ways, you changed my life, and I'm sure that most of the students who passed through the doors defending disabled people or BHA tenants can say the same.

BU Law has been lucky to have you, and I was particularly lucky to be your student. In the words of my people, "Mazel Tov" -- best of luck, and great success, in all of your endeavors, and I absolutely plan to be at the school to see your send off.

With warmest regards,
Dan Malis
BU Law '83

Dan Malis, GU Legal Aid 1981-1982, Class of 1983

Best of luck, Lois, in the Next Phase. I can testify that it'll be a great one. Unfortunately, I'll be flying back to Boston from my eighth (!) year teaching spring semester in Hawaii, at the very moment of your party. Wish I could b there to offer my congratulations in person, but I wish you the very best. I guarantee you'll love living a different life. Fran

Fran Miller, BUSL, Class of 1965

Dear Professor Knight, I wish you the very best in the next phase of your life. I've always admired your integrity, passion, and spirit. I will always remember Legal Follies - Lois Knight and the Pips - and you (in wig and make-up) explaing to the BU security guard that you really were the Dean of Student Affairs. Best regards, Jeff Van Hoosear

Jeff Van Hoosear, BU Law, Class of 1986

I'm sorry I cannot attend. Lois was my clinical instructor in 1981-82. She taught me, encouraged me, mentored me and was a role model. More than 30 years have passed and I am still proud to be representing indigent clients which I first did as a student lawyer under the guidance of Lois Knight. Thank you, Lois.

H. Mitchell Schuman, NY County Defender Services, Class of 1983

Congratulation on the retirement! I enjoyed the seminar that I took with you. You were my favorite professor in law school. Hopefully you can use this time now to travel, eat, and relax!

Jason lau, Class of 2011

Say it isn't so, Lois! What will BUSL do without you? Thank you so much for including me in this event honoring your many years of dedication to the students of BUSL. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been one of the students you mentored and taught, both during my year in the clinic and in my years of practice since I graduated. Your positive support and optimistic outlook have been tremendously inspirational to me. Looking forward to May 1st.

Alisa Hacker, Civil Clinic Participant, Class of 2002

All the best!

Janiece Brown Spitzmueller, The City of New York, Class of 1987

Lois, congratulations on your retirement. I am sure the law school will miss you dearly. I wish you all the best. Enjoy your retirement. Best Jeffrey Dintzer

Jeffrey Dintzer, Gibson, Dunn & Curtcher, Class of 1988

Congratulations on your retirement, Lois. You can look back with pride on the positive impact you had on, literally, hundreds of students over the past 37 years. I recall with incredible fondness doing some of the most satisfying work of my life while working at the Legal Clinic under your guidance and mentorship. I wish you all the best as you begin the next chapter of your incredible life. Thank you for all you did to jump-start my career as a litigator!

Tom Sansone, former student and legal clinic intern, Class of 1985

I credit Lois and my time at BU Legal Aid for my lifelong dedication to pro bono work and public service. Though I only practiced for five years, I worked each week at Cambridgeport Problem Center until I got involved in politics, which led me to move to DC, work on Capitol Hill, and then as a lobbyist for the public interest. I do a great deal of volunteer and political work. Lois inspired me in every way. She allowed me to do a jury trial through Legal Aid, my first court experience (and a victory). More importantly, she ignited in me a passion for public justice. Thanks for 37 years.

Leslie Miles, Topside LLC, Class of 1982

Besides being THE most adventuresome international traveler, Lois has climbed the highest peak in Maine: Katahdin (aka Great Mountain - 5280 feet). She coached me up and down that mountain, informing me that the Girl Scouts were gaining on us, and to hurry up. Memories that will never be duplicated...All my love.

Ann Volpe Daley, Mountain climbing friend from 1972???

I am so sorry I won't be able to attend this reception to honor Lois.

Lois had a huge impact on my life. Not only was Lois a fabulous teacher and mentor, who epitomized professionalism and passion, but she was also an inspiring role model who encouraged me to pursue a career in law teaching. I often think of the lessons I learned as her student and can only hope that I have half the impact on some of my students that she had on me.

Enjoy your retirement Lois! You deserve it!

Floralynn Einesman, Class of 1980

Lois, Congratulations on your retirement! I did a public externship with the Governor's Counsel's office back in the spring of '98 and remember your class fondly. Best wishes on this next great chapter of your life!

Kathleen Paralusz, BUSL Alumna, Class of 1998

You have been an important part of BU law and for some students, myself included, a lifetime influence of what law can do. You will be missed.

Barbara Zimbel, Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc, Class of 1981

Professor knight hooked me up! She rocks. :-)

Here's why I say that: I really wanted to spend my last semester of law school doing a semester in practice at the SEC's Division of Enforcement, so I could work there full time in the Spring. I applied, and even though I was already competitive for the position, they were taking a long time getting back to me despite my inquiries.

Lois already knew that I've done good work in a prosecution setting because I spent the previous semester doing relevant things at another agency in Boston (U.S. Solicitor of Labor) through her externship program. And that experience was a major highlight of my law school experience.

She called the SEC to follow up on my behalf, and I got an interview within days. To this day, I don't know what she told them. I took over from there, got the offer, and it was great. But she helped get my foot in the door.

I'm glad I got to know Lois to the extent I did, and I'm sure I'm not the only student who's benefitted from her 37-year tenure with BUSL. In the busy law tower, where things and people can feel very rushed, Lois was very attentive and helpful. Congratulations to her, and I wish her all the best. I hope her replacement will read this guest book as a guide that will help him or her follow and replicate Lois's positive results.

Matt Sferrazza, Externship and SiPP, Class of 2013

Lois, congratulations and enjoy your next adventure. Being in your clinical program added so much depth to my law school experience. I enjoyed the responsibility of handling cases for real clients at the South End office and you were always patient with us. It was a great experience!

Laura Udis, Former Student, Class of 1980

Professor Knight inspired the start of my career - through her clinic I not only learned my profession, but learned how to think about my role as an advocate and leader. Thank you for all you've done for so many of us!

Sona Pancholy, Class of 1995

Lois, Your were a wonderful teacher. You helped me to understand human nature as well as the law. I wish you the best in retirement.

Jane O'Malley, CLass of 1984

Professor Knight is special because she took a personal interest in each student. She encouraged us to stretch ourselves and to find opportunities that we enjoyed and that taught us practical legal skills. By taking the time to get to know me, she made me feel special and important. Her dedication to individual students is what I remember most about Professor Knight.

Lindsey Parker, BU Law alumnus, Class of 2013

Dear Lois - Reading this article made me realize we both started at BU Law in 1977. You taught me well, and I used those skills as a legal aid attorney my first five years out of law school. In fact, I still use them in private practice - I remember you saying to keep my GBLS files organized so anyone could just pick them up and know what to do! Congratulations on a well- deserved retirement, and I am sorry I will miss your party by just a couple of days (I will be in Quincy visiting my daughter but have to head home the 27th). Fond regards

Richard Otto, Class of 1980

Lois, congratulations... I wish you all the best. I have such fond memories of your mentoring me in the BU Legal Aid Program. You were such a shining light for me in so many ways..... encouraging me, teaching me, showing me how to be the best advocate I could possibly be. You showed me what it meant to be both a zealot advocate and a compassionate attorney. Do you remember that huge condo conversion case where we took on representing the whole building of indigent tenants in that boarding house? Well I do, and I know the success we had there showed me what was possible and shaped my decisions about the type of work I would later choose. I have ended up making a career out of representing the poor and the disabled. Your guidance was pivotal to me in a very fundamental way. Thank you so much for being a great mentor. The students who will no longer have you as a mentor will be at a loss but I hope that someone else very much like you steps up and takes on the role you played so importantly for me. In my mentorship of young attorneys and students, I know I am guided by your example. I once again wish you only the best.

David Kornfeld, Boston University Legal Aid Program, Class of 1981

Lois taught me and everyone so many many lessons. But for her and the clinical programs, we either would never have learned those lessons/skills or learned/acquired them only after years of practice. Lois is the consummate professor and lawyer.She was always sure not just to explain what had to be done, but why it had to be done. In court, she would pick out lawyers that we should emulate and bad habits that we should avoid. based on a case that I was handling under Lois's tutelage, the opposing attorney's son, still refers me matters.

To this day, when I go to court, I hear Lois over my shoulder saying: "check the docket on the wall outside of the courtroom."

Another skill that Lois has is the ability to write an extremely forceful letter to the 'other side' but in the nicest way. That skill I never learned. The skills that Lois and the clinical programs taught I continue use everyday.

As all of you well wishers have stated, we wish you the best of everything.


Rick Blumenthal, Student, Class of 1982

Lois has been a pillar of the legal community for most of my career. She has helped to keep the idealism alive that fuels public interest lawyers, and has continued to be a solid source of support and advice even for those who have been engaged in such work for decades. What a great career. What a great person.

Al Wallis, Brown Rudnick Center for the Public Interest, Class of 1973

Lois- We see a hole in one in your future! Congratulations on your retirement as you begin the next chapter of your life.

Charlene and Kris, Friends, Golfers Extraordinaire :-)

Lois, I wish you only the best as you retire from BU Law. You have always been a remarkable role model and set such a wonderful example for all of us who wish to make the world a better place. The clinical program was so important to my experience as a law student; and your support and guidance made it invaluable. I thank you for that. You have my wishes for much happiness and joy in the next phase of your life. Rabbi Jodi Kornfeld

Jodi Landsman Kornfeld, BU Law Class of 1981

Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement! I'll always be grateful for your tremendous teaching, mentoring, kindness, and friendship. Thank you for all of your support over the years. I am so very thankful to have had you as a Professor at BUSL. I look forward to staying in touch in the years to come.

Christiaan Highsmith, AUSA, BU Law Class of 2008

Dear Lois, it has been wonderful to have known you here at the School. You will be missed by so many of us. Good luck and congratulations as you enter the next phase of a wonderful life. Best wishes, Wally

Professor Walter W. Miller Jr.

Dear Lois, Many thanks for your dedication and perseverance to the education of your many students. I still use the many lessons you taught us way back in the early 1980's, and will endeavor to pass them on further. Judge Jack Lu, Essex Superior Court

Jack Lu, LAW 1984

I have been proud to call Lois one of my good friends since we we met as college freshman. We have been friends for almost fifty years now. She has cared greatly and worked tirelessly both for her BU students and for her many friends. I wish her only the best life has to offer.

Jane Riley,Tufts University, BU Law Class of 1970

Dear Lois: It's been a pleasure working with you all of these decades. You are not only smart and able but also kind hearted and empathetic, qualities I value enormously. I look forward to keep meeting you at the opera and exchanging views about the performances. Cheers, Pnina

Pnina Lahav, Professor of Law

Lois, I cannot imagine BU Law without your beautiful smile, infectious laugh and striking presence. You have been a great role model, educator and friend to counteless people, me included. I am so sorry to be missing your retirement ceremony. I will be in Chicago for work that day and through the weekend. I would love to take you out to celebrate after I get back. Much love, Sabrina

Sabrina Halloran

Dear Lois, Best wishes on your retirement and thank you again for all of your advice, guidance and support. I will miss being able to draw on your sage words. Sincerely, Jeffrey

Jeffrey Woolf, Adjunct, Class of 1974

Congratulations on your retirement. I enjoyed learning from you in the Legal Aid Clinic over 30 years ago. Enjoy your next endeavors.

Myrna Wigod, Class of 1983

Congrats, Lois, and best wishes. It was an honor to serve as a student intern with you and the rest of the faculty, and I learned quite a lot.

Matthew Piaker, GBLS intern 1981-82, Class of 1983

Congratulations on your retirement. 37 years, that's incredible.

Madeline Schilder, Class of 1984

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