College of Law alum thanks mentors with gift to Dineen Hall Buidling Fund
April 23, 2012
When Catherine S. Gratton L’04 moved to Syracuse in 2001, she was young, in love, and unsure of what to do with her life. She applied to the Syracuse University College of Law on a whim and quickly figured out that “it was exactly where I needed to be.”
Today, Gratton is a director and senior counsel in the Intellectual Property group at Deutsche Bank AG, an investment bank in New York City. “I have such good memories of my law school experience,” Gratton says. “It was such a positive event in my life that I felt a need to give something back.” That something is a significant gift to the College of Law’s Dineen Hall Building Fund.
“My experience at the College of Law prepared me for a demanding career,” Gratton says. “It was clear from the start that law school would be difficult and that I needed to work hard to succeed. It was worthwhile because law firms demand hard work, and the transition from law school to a law firm was eased.”
Upon earning her degree, Gratton joined the New York City office of White & Case LLP, where she specialized in intellectual property transactions and litigation. She credits several College of Law faculty and staff with putting her on the path to success, including Lisa A. Dolak, Angela S. Cooney Professor of Law and associate director of the Center on Property, Citizenship, and Social Entrepreneurism, and Theodore Hagelin, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and Kauffman Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. It was through their classes and counsel that Gratton was turned on to intellectual property.
Gratton has also received support throughout her law career from Robert Dineen Jr. L’66, a Syracuse University trustee and member of the College of Law’s Board of Advisors. Designating her gift to the Dineen Hall Building Fund was a way to thank the many teachers and SU alumni she counts as mentors.
Staying connected to Syracuse University is important to Gratton. “Syracuse is where my adult life began taking shape. The College of Law gave me a foundation to pursue whatever I wanted,” she explains. “If you’ve had a good experience and have benefited from the College of Law, you will want current students to have those same great opportunities. I had great teachers and am fortunate to have many mentors and a strong network of alumni. I hope to be a resource for upcoming graduates of the College of Law.”