College of Law Honors Alumni of Color

Felicia Collins Ocumarez L’98, G’98

José Bahamonde-González L’92

Felicia Collins Ocumarez L’98, G’98, and José Bahamonde-González L’92 will be honored by the Syracuse University College of Law at its annual Law Alumni Weekend, to be held virtually Sept. 24-26.

Collins Ocumarez, in-house council in the legal division of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the corporate, consumer, insurance and legislation branch, is the 2020 recipient of the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) William Herbert Johnson Legacy Award. Named for the school’s first Black graduate, the award is a particularly fitting honor for Collins Ocumarez, who spearheaded efforts to have Johnson posthumously admitted to the New York bar last year. She is co-founder of the Syracuse Black Law Alumni Collective (Syracuse BLAC), which serves as a bridge between black alumni professionals and current students. The group has launched a fund drive for a $150,000 endowment to provide need-based scholarships to Black students at the College of Law.

Collins Ocumarez is a joint degree graduate from the College of Law and Maxwell School and has clerked for Chief Judge Susan Gertrude Braden (Retired) at the United States Court of Federal Claims. Prior to joining the FDIC, Collins Ocumarez held senior legal positions at the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), the Gallup Organization, and Halliburton. She also held positions as a manager at Arthur Andersen and worked in New York City’s Financial District in public and municipal structured finance. She is currently working on a dissertation at the George Washington University Law Center on minority communities and blockchain technology for a LL.M in government procurement.

Bahamonde-González is the 2020 Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA) Legacy Award Recipient, which recognizes the dedicated efforts that members of the Latinx American community have made in overcoming the underrepresentation of Latinx in the legal field.

Bahamonde-González is the first chief diversity, inclusion and professional development officer at Baltimore-based law firm Miles & Stockbridge. In this role, he leads the firm’s initiatives and programming in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion and lawyer professional development. He is a member of the firm’s leadership team and pro bono committee.

A highly-regarded diversity and inclusion professional, Bahamonde-González previously spent 23 years at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, serving as associate dean for professional education and in other related associate dean positions. He continues to provide the Professional Development Lecture Series to students in the master of science in law and master of laws programs, as well as promote pro bono opportunities to juris doctor students.

Bahamonde-González was the inaugural chair of the Diversity Advisory Council for the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus and, throughout his career at the law school, served as advisor to the Latinx Law Student Association (LLSA) and the OUTLaw student groups. An active member of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) since 1992, he has served as vice president, and currently serves as chair of the NALP Diversity Committee, LGBTQ Work Group. He is a member of the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association (MHBA) and received the MHBA 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award for his work counseling and mentoring Latinx law students and lawyers.