1984 - 2018
Attorney Ari J. Diaconis was born October 15, 1984 and died January 29, 2018, age 33.
Ari graduated from University of Vermont, where he studied economics, philosophy and Afro-Cuban percussion. During and after college, Ari played with musical groups, such as Rubblebucket, and performed at renowned venues including Blue Note Jazz Club New York.
With increasing interest in law, Ari began teaching the Law School Admission Test. This allowed him to live in diverse cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, Baltimore and Missoula. Ari went on to graduate magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from Cornell Law School. He served as an articles editor on Cornell Law Review and a bench editor on Cornell Moot Court Board. Cornell awarded Ari with a Fraser Prize, for "most fully evincing high qualities of mind and character by superior achievements in scholarship and by attributes that earn the commendation of teachers and fellow students."
After law school, Ari served as Law Clerk to Hon. Edward R. Korman, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Following that clerkship he joined the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. Ari next planned to serve as Law Clerk to Hon. Rosemary S. Pooler, but was unable to due to the progression of neurologic disorders. Despite his short career, Ari participated in the litigation or adjudication of nearly 100 lawsuits. Ari's legal scholarship has been read by thousands and cited as authority by several Constitutional law experts.
In 2016, Ari bicycled over 2,500 miles from Florida to California with his sister to raise awareness for one of his disorders. Ari's health worsened significantly in 2017, but he continued writing, recording music and volunteering as a lawyer. He completed legal research projects and published op-eds on topics such as Constitutional separation of powers and the right to death with dignity. Music that Ari recorded during this period with Guerilla Toss was featured on NPR.
Ari was an attorney; budding scholar; meditator; prisoners' rights advocate; percussionist; lover of Brooklyn, NY; movie buff; and a novice but passionate juggler, rock-climber and squash player. Ari became a vegetarian towards the end of his life and regretted not doing so earlier.
Ari will be missed greatly by his community, the love of his life Dunia Rkein; father John Diaconis, who fought tirelessly for Ari's health; mother Dian Larkin, who taught Ari to follow his many interests; sister Alix Diaconis; brother Ansel Halle; grandfather Ron Veyo;
stepmother Ann Dantzig; stepsisters Tasha and Lexi Dantzig; step-grandmother Janice Rabinowitz; a vast extended family; and Ari's many dear friends and colleagues from elementary school through law school and beyond, including his lifelong friend Marcus Cohlan.
All friends, family and colleagues are encouraged to attend Ari's memorial service at The Cornell Club, 6 East 44th Street, New York, NY, on March 24, at 11AM. In lieu of flowers, Ari's family welcomes donations to Cornell Law School indicating "in memory of Ari Diaconis." Please mail checks to Cornell Law School, G28 Hughes Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, Attn: Susan Arotsky.
Published by New York Times from Feb. 1 to Feb. 2, 2018.