Bishop Grimes 2017 Commencement Speaker


Bishop Grimes 48th Commencement Ceremony will be held Saturday, June 10, 2017, at 10:00 am in the gymnasium. The Bishop Grimes community and Class of 2017 are excited to announce this year’s Commencement Speaker,  Thérèse Wiley Dancks, Bishop Grimes alumna, Class of 1977. 

Thérèse Wiley Dancks is a United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of New York.  She graduated magna cum laude from Le Moyne College in 1985 and earned her J.D. degree cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law in 1991.  She is a member of the Bishop Grimes High School Class of 1977.

At the time of her appointment to the federal bench in February of 2012, Judge Dancks was a founding partner in the law firm of Gale & Dancks, LLC, where her practice centered on civil litigation and trial work. She was associated with the law firm of Mackenzie Hughes, LLP from 1991 to 1997.  As a practicing attorney, she represented a variety of medical and other professionals, individuals, municipal entities, corporations, and small businesses in state and federal courts.  As a Magistrate Judge, her docket includes criminal cases and a variety of civil cases involving constitutional issues including civil rights and employment claims, as well as personal injury, commercial, environmental, and intellectual property claims.

Dancks has always been an active member of state, local, and specialty bar associations.  In addition to serving as chair of several bar association committees, she served on the Board of Directors of the Onondaga County Bar Association and the Central New York Women’s Bar Association.  Judge Dancks is a past president of the Central New York Women’s Bar Association and established the organization’s award-winning Domestic Violence Legal Assistance Clinic during her term.  Currently, she serves on district-wide court committees, U.S. Second Circuit court committees, and Federal Magistrate Judges Association committees.

Dancks is a native Central New Yorker and has been a board member of several charitable and community organizations.  She lends her time and energy to local community and professional organizations, with an emphasis on helping providers of legal services to the indigent and poor and educational institutions. She served as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Hiscock Legal Aid Society and as Secretary of the Board of Directors of St. Elizabeth College of Nursing.  She is a current member of the Le Moyne College Board of Regents.

Judge Dancks has co-authored articles for the Syracuse Law Review, and she frequently lectures for federal, state, and local bar associations on many substantive law topics.  She is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer at primary, secondary, and higher educational institutions, including Syracuse University College of Law, and regularly participates as a moot court judge for high school, college, and law school programs.

Judge Dancks feels humbled and honored to be the guest speaker at the Bishop Grimes 2017 Commencement Ceremony.


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