Joe Calabrese JD ’81, grew up in Paterson, N.J., where his father ran a small business. He noticed that when his father—a first-generation Italian immigrant with an eighth-grade education—had a problem, he always turned to his lawyer for help.
“I saw lawyering as a high calling,” Calabrese recalls. “Lawyers were people who were called upon when people needed help navigating an intimidating system.”
That belief led Calabrese to Cornell Law School, which he was able to attend with support from a scholarship. He benefited from Cornell’s close-knit community and the expertise and tutelage of great law scholars like Jack Barcelo, Bob Summers, and Faust Rossi. After graduating, he set off for California, where he became one of the entertainment industry’s top lawyers and global chair of Latham and Watkins LLP’s Entertainment, Sports, and Media practice.
Recognizing how foundational his upbringing and Cornell Law experience were to his career success, Calabrese honored both by creating the Gerard R. and Anna M. Calabrese Scholarship.
“I was raised with the sense that giving can make a difference,” he says, recalling how his mother always sent him in to his Catholic school with a small donation for each fundraising campaign. “Scholarships allow Cornell Law to attract more students who will become great citizens and great lawyers—especially those who may not be able to afford law school on their own.”
You can join Calabrese in helping Cornell Law to do the greatest good by making scholarship and financial aid endowment gifts that allow us to attract highly qualified and diverse students who will enhance the communities and organizations they serve.