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Brooklyn Law School Italian-American Student Association honors Frank Carone

November 15, 2019 Rob Abruzzese

On Wednesday. the Brooklyn Law School Italian-American Student Association held its annual alumni dinner at the school where it honored alumnus Frank Carone, the president of the Brooklyn Bar Association.

A crowd of about 50 students and alumni and their families, colleagues and friends joined together at the event to share a dinner and to present the award to Carone. The event was opened by Joseph Caldarera, a past president of the student association, and a Republican candidate for Congress in Bay Ridge and Staten Island, who read the poem “I am an Italian-American” by Angelo Bianchi.

“I am an Italian-American. My roots are deep in an ancient soil, drenched by the Mediterranean sun, and watered by pure streams from snow-capped mountains,” the poem opened.

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Michael Millus (left), president of the Italian-American Law Student Association, presents Frank Carone, president of the Brooklyn Bar Association, with an award.

Carone said that he was so impressed by the reading that he was going to suggest that the Columbian Lawyers of Brooklyn adapt the practice of opening their meetings with by reading it from now on.

Before he presented Carone with the award, association President Michael Millus read a list of Carone’s accomplishments that included his academic, legal and military achievements, and explained that the reason the group decided to honor Carone was that he is a great example for Italian-Americans in the legal community.

“With such a long list of accomplishments, you set the bar high for what it means to be a BLS graduate,” Millus said of Carone. “Your accomplishments as a lawyer and member of the Brooklyn community speak volumes about who you are as a person. The members of IALSA hope that by honoring you tonight and spreading your story, it inspires everyone here to try to be better in the same way you inspired us.”

From left: Joseph Nasca, Marco Donatelli, Gabriella Manganiello, Frank Carone, Michael Millus and Nick Gonsalves.

Carone said that when he got a chance to meet with the students, he got the sense that a lot of them were unsure of what they wanted to do in their legal careers. He assured them that when he was in their position he felt similarly, and that as long as they were ready to work hard and push themselves, they could achieve more than they expect.

“The first few weeks I was here, I remember thinking to myself that everyone spoke so beautifully,” Carone said. “They were so articulate, and I didn’t speak that way. So, I decided to read the New York Times as much as I could and kept my mouth shut. It wasn’t until I took my first test here that I realized that I belonged. It’s not about perception. It’s about heart and desire and work ethic. If you have those character traits, you will succeed.”


Carone then explained that there will be setbacks along the way in their careers but urged his listeners to embrace them as learning experiences. He explained that he never thought he would go to law school, and never expected that he would join the U.S. Marines.

“There are no secrets to success,” Carone said. “It’s a mindset to succeed, and success is defined differently for everyone. My success is not necessarily your success. Have a goal, and don’t be afraid to change the goal, but have one and focus on the daily tasks at hand, on fundamentals. If you think that way, success will compound. Don’t worry about adversity, setbacks or mistakes. Sometimes that’s what leads to your success. You need adversity to have success. Part of the journey is overcoming it and you can only do that with confidence.”

Carone joins an impressive list of honorees of the Italian-American Law Student Association in recent years that also includes Chief Judge Janet DiFiore; Hon. Matthew D’Emic, administrative judge of the Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal Term; and Hon. Barbara Panepinto.


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