sPRiNG 2010

Advocating Justice, Leading Clinical Education

CUNY Law’s Clinics

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Spring 2010




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Dean’s Letter News Brief Alumni News Faculty Notes

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EDITOR AND ARTICLES AUTHOR Vivian Todini Director of Communications vivian.todini@mail.law.cuny.edu EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Dana Ramos Executive Assistant to Dean Michelle J. Anderson ART DIRECTOR Hope Forstenzer hopejf@gmail.com ALUMNI NEWS Compiled by Ansley Davenport Coordinator of Alumni Affairs FACULTY NOTES Compiled by Cindy Rodriguez Communications and Development Assistant PHOTOGRAPHY ©ARPI PAP Arpi Pap ArpiPap@paphoto.net COPY EDITOR Victoria Beliveau

cover story



Legal Education for Social Justice
10 Immigrant & Refugee Rights Clinic 11 Helping Haitians in Need 12 Criminal Defense Clinic 14 Community & Economic Development Clinic 16 International Women’s Human Rights Clinic 17 Mediation Clinic Q&A 18 Equality Concentration 20 Health Law Concentration 21 Economic Justice Project 22 Elder Law Clinic

On the Cover: From left, Director of the Immigrant & Refugee Rights Clinic (IRRC) Ramzi Kassem, IRRC Social Work Supervisor and Adjunct Professor Martha Garcia, IRRC Instructor Liliana Yanez, and CUNY Law Director of Immigrant Initiatives Alizabeth Newman.

de an’s • letter

Dean Michelle J. Anderson

Letter from the Dean
dear friends, I am pleased to share this special issue of CUNY Law Magazine, which spotlights the law School’s signature clinical program. Nationally recognized as one of the strongest programs in the country, our clinic is widely respected for being both innovative and on the vanguard of clinical education. our approach is different. we do not wait for the third year to introduce students to the practice of lawyering. Practice experience begins on day one. our amazing faculty—whom the Princeton Review ranks among the 10 best law faculties in the country—integrate theory and practice in both doctrinal classes and lawyering seminars. our curriculum is modeled on the belief that abstract knowledge cannot be separated from practical skills and professional experience. In recognition of our approach, the Carnegie foundation’s report “educating lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of law” praised CUNY law, stating: “we believe legal education requires not simply more additions, but a truly integrative approach in order to provide students with a broad-based yet coherent beginning for their legal careers. It is the systematic effort to do this in their curriculum that makes programs like that at CUNY’s law school so noteworthy.” our small lawyering seminars in the first and second years provide students with the grounding they need to

begin supervised live client practice in their third years. our experiential approach engages students more deeply in their learning and prepares them for an outstanding clinical experience. Students enjoy a clinic faculty-to-student ratio of 8 to 1 and have unparalleled interactions with their professors. They routinely report that their clinical experiences are the highlight of their time at CUNY law. as you’ll see on the following pages, each of our clinics has a distinct area of focus, with passionate, excellent professors and engaged students dedicated to carrying out “law in the Service of human Needs.” each clinic dedicates itself to helping low-income clients and communities access much-needed legal assistance that otherwise would not be available. our clinical approach teaches students how to look critically and thoughtfully at the ways in which our justice system neglects the salient intersections of race, poverty, sexual orientation, and gender, among other issues. our goal is justice for all communities. our Immigrant & Refugee Rights Clinic represents individuals and groups of immigrants asserting their right to exist in the U.S. without fear, exploitation, or subordination. The clinic also works on civil liberties issues in military detention cases. our elder law Clinic helps protect the elderly from exploitation and abuse and helps families plan for the future. our Criminal defense Clinic defends the rights of those caught up in the criminal justice system. Through CUNY law’s extensive network of colleagues in the field, our equality Concentration and health law Concentration provide students with in-depth placements in public interest settings. Students in the Community & economic development Clinic assist nonprofits and small businesses in assessing and establishing viable governance structures. our Mediation Clinic teaches students another way of lawyering that often enhances outcomes for the parties involved and increases their satisfaction with the process. and our International women’s human Rights Clinic uses human rights law to advocate for justice nationally and abroad. assistant attorney General for the Civil Rights division at the U.S. department of Justice Thomas Perez visited the law School recently and reflected on the first time he came to CUNY law many years ago. having just been appointed director of clinical programs at the University of Maryland School of law, the first thing he did was travel to CUNY so that he could “learn from the masters of clinical education.” we are so proud of our clinical program. I am sure you are, too. Yours,

Michelle J. anderson dean and Professor of law


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news • brief

CUNY Law Students Meet with Civil Rights Leader and Advocate
In a special visit with CUNY Law students, Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights division of the U.S. department of Justice, talked emphatically about the need for public interest lawyers. “The need is greater than ever,” he said. “I especially wanted to visit CUNY law because of its commitment to public service.” according to the National association for law Placement directory, CUNY law sends a higher share of its students into public interest and public service law practice than any other law school in the nation. In his meeting with students, Perez praised CUNY law’s professors, telling students they were learning from among the best in the country, and that the skills they gain from CUNY law will serve them well as they pursue their law careers.

Thomas Perez

“I’ve always loved what I do, and it doesn’t feel like work. Civil rights is the unfinished business of America, and it’s something that we need to address every day.”
Perez, whose visit was hosted by CUNY law’s Career Planning office, encouraged students to think hard about their future careers and the mark they want to leave on the world. “here’s your homework,” he said. “Take a piece of paper and write your obituary. what do you want it to say? what kind of legacy do you want to leave?” he advised the students to “take educated risks in pursuit of what you want to do.” and, he reminded them, “always use your moral compass.” Perez told the students if they love what they do each day, they will always be motivated. he also challenged the students to be proactive in pursuit of their careers, but not at the expense of others. “I was always taught not to bring up the ladder behind me,” he said, referring to the values imparted by his family. “My parents raised me to think about the community and community service.” Perez has spent more than two decades in state and federal government service, including being the first latino ever elected to the Montgomery County Council in Maryland and serving as the council’s president in 2005. he was deputy

assistant attorney general for civil rights under attorney General Janet Reno, and special counsel to the late Senator edward Kennedy, including being Kennedy’s principal advisor on civil rights, criminal justice, and constitutional issues. for the final two years of the Clinton administration, Perez served as the director of the office for Civil Rights at the U.S. department of health and human Services. at the state level, Perez served as the secretary of Maryland’s department of labor, licensing, and Regulation, where he was the principal architect on lending and foreclosure reforms. “I’ve always loved what I do, and it doesn’t feel like work,” he said. “Civil rights is the unfinished business of america, and it’s something that we need to address every day.” This is Perez’s second visit to CUNY law School. his first was in 2001, when he was named clinic director at the University of Maryland School of law. “when I joined Maryland School of law, one of the first things I did was meet with clinic faculty at CUNY law, because I knew that in order to develop an excellent program for Maryland, I first needed to learn and hear from the masters of clinical education.” CUNY law consistently ranks among the top 10 law schools in the country in clinical training. The Civil Rights division, said Perez, is tackling a variety of issues such as foreclosure and voting rights. “It was a privilege to have him back at the law School,” said dean Michelle J. anderson. “he inspired the students and spoke of issues that are at the heart of CUNY law’s mission.” ••




Cesar Vargas
esar Vargas is considering two potential career paths: he could become an officer in the Marines as a military lawyer or an
assistant district attorney. Vargas, who is finishing up his second year at CUNY law, acknowledges that on the surface, those career choices may not appear to align with CUNY law’s values. But, he said, these careers are very much in sync with the CUNY law mission. “It’s all about creating access to justice,” he said. as a military lawyer in the Judge advocate General’s (JaG) Corps, Vargas said, he would work toward ensuring fair treatment of troops, and he would defend individuals in courts-martial. he also said he would ensure that generals follow international human rights treaties. “The military is the ultimate in public service,” he said. “Plus, troops need representation, and the generals need oversight.” Vargas is torn, however, because he has an equally strong calling to be a prosecutor for the State. “I wouldn’t be a traditional prosecutor,” he said. “I would work toward changing the system and the prosecutorial model. we need more emphasis on treatment, prevention, and alternatives to incarceration,” he explained. “for instance, when we take the accused out of the community and isolate and marginalize him in prison, it often doesn’t work.” Vargas advocates a more holistic approach involving the community. “The criminal justice system has to use the strength of the community to prevent a path to crime,” he said. “This is especially important in the case of our youth. we need greater community links and intervention, so we don’t have to keep prosecuting youths whose lives are changed in a minute because of a misdemeanor or a felony.” a need to diversify the profession is another reason that a prosecutor career holds Vargas’s interest. “we need more prosecutors who come from the community,” he said. “It makes a big difference for people in the community to know that the people who prosecute them actually understand them and aren’t detached from their communities.” In keeping with a community prevention model, Vargas said he intends to join the Community & economic development Clinic next year. his goal is to help address the legal needs of local small businesses, including helping them incorporate. “Small businesses are the commercial lifeline of the community. If we help local entrepreneurs flourish, it will help the commercial welfare of the entire community, making it possible for business owners to hire people from within their community,” he said, adding, “Jobs are a crime prevention strategy. I love CUNY because it gives you a rich and wide array of possibilities to pursue justice.” Vargas said that other students share his interest, and, as a result, he has started the Prosecutor law Students association. Vargas recently interned at the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. “It was an opportunity to get real legal experience by drafting legal documents and assisting senior adas with trials,” he said. “It was also an opportunity to see success stories of prison alternative programs.” Vargas cites his Mexican roots as his pull toward social justice. “In Mexico, it’s all about ‘whoever has money has justice,’ ” he said. “It’s actually not so different from here. The thing I love about CUNY law is that we want to make sure that race or class doesn’t dictate who gets access to justice.” ••



What led you to establish the Sylvia Rivera Law project (SRLp)?
I founded SRlP in 2002 to respond to the enormous unmet legal needs of low-income people and people of color facing gender identity and expression discrimination. I knew from my own experiences and from those I was close to that trans and gender nonconforming people face high levels of police harassment and arrest, homelessness and barriers to social services, imprisonment, employment discrimination, eviction, deportation, harm in juvenile justice and foster care systems, and sexual violence. The fact that most of the institutions of social control where poor people and people of color are overrepresented (shelters, jails, prisons, group homes, detention centers, hospitals, etc.) are sex-segregated and refuse to recognize nontraditional gender identities means that trans and gender nonconforming people face both heightened vulnerability to violence and exclusion from services. further, the increasing trend of excluding trans-related health care from Medicaid and other public insurance programs and the increasing difficulties faced by trans people whose identity documents do not accurately represent them in the context of increased identity surveillance after 9/11 result in significant obstacles to basic survival needs. SRlP’s mission is to work on these issues by providing legal services to people in need, changing major laws and policies, and building racial and economic justice–focused trans resistance that demands not just formal legal rights, but also redistribution of wealth and life chances.

2009–2010 Haywood Burns Chair in Civil Rights Dean Spade

DEAN SpADE, CUNY Law’s 2009–2010 Haywood Burns Chair in Civil Rights, is a leading voice on the intersections of gender identity, poverty, and discrimination. Recognized for his activism and academic contributions, Spade was a Williams Institute Law Teaching Fellow at UCLA Law School and Harvard Law School, teaching classes related to sexual orientation and gender identity law and law and social movements. Currently on the faculty of Seattle University School of Law, Spade recently received a Dukeminier Award for his article “Documenting Gender,” and was selected to give the 2009–2010 James A. Thomas Lecture at Yale.

What distinguishes CUNY Law from other law schools at which you’ve taught?
CUNY is an exceptionally exciting place to teach because of the mission and because the students come to the classroom with a much broader range of life experiences and work experiences, as well as a deep commitment to social justice. I find the classroom conversation to be very sophisticated and dynamic because the students are so passionate about examining injustice and strategizing resistance, and they bring so much of themselves to the dialogue.

What inspires you to work in civil rights?
like many people, I think I first got politicized by my own experiences, especially my experiences of growing up on welfare and then becoming aware of welfare politics broadly during the mid1990s attacks on welfare. My politics expanded from there, especially as I developed an analysis of how the legal reforms pushed by social movements often fail to address the needs of people facing the worst harms. when I got involved in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender politics in the 1990s, I became aware of how the mainstream “gay rights” frame marginalizes poor people, people of color, trans people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and other highly vulnerable queer and trans people. I wanted to get involved in building resistance that addressed the needs, including legal needs, of those facing multiple vectors of vulnerability.

What do you hope students will learn from your class?
I hope that students in my Poverty law class will learn to analyze problems of disparity from an intersectional perspective, considering questions of wealth distribution and redistribution through the lenses of feminist critique, critical race studies, queer theory, critical disabilities studies, and women of color feminism. Through this process, I aim to give them a chance to think about the limits of legal reform for addressing wealth disparity, as well as the opportunities for lawyers to be part of resistance efforts whose demands exceed what law can offer. ••


CUNY SChool of law • www.law.CUNY.edU

ThE hAYWOOD BURNS ChAIR IN CIVIL RIghTS is a visiting position at CUNY law, which enables a succession of extraordinary civil rights attorneys to provide students with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from leaders in the field. The Chair is named for haywood Burns, the first africanamerican dean of CUNY law and of any New York law school. during his deanship, he led CUNY law to american Bar asHaywood Burns sociation accreditation. a founder of the National Conference of Black lawyers, Burns began his civil rights career at age 15 when he helped integrate the swimming pool in Peekskill, New York. as a law student at Yale, he participated in the 1964 freedom Summer in Mississippi. he became assistant counsel to the NaaCP legal defense and education fund and later served as general counsel to Martin luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign. Burns died tragically in an automobile accident in 1996 when he was in South africa participating in a world conference on post-apartheid democratic reform. CUNY law named the Chair in his honor to keep his legacy alive and to bear witness to the sacrifices and successes that he made, in both life and death, in the struggle for racial justice worldwide. ••

1997–98 The Hon. Nathaniel R. Jones, Judge of the U.S. Court of

2003–04 Susan Jones, Clinical Professor at the George Washing-

Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and former General Counsel of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
1998–99 Theodore M. Shaw, Associate Director-Counsel of the

ton University Law School and expert on microenterprise and economic rights.
2004–05 Ida Castro, Commissioner of the New Jersey State

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.
1999–2000 William L. Robinson, former Dean of the District of

Department of Personnel and former Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
2005–06 Professor Paula Johnson of the Syracuse University

Columbia School of Law and former Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
2000 The Hon. Robert L. Carter, Judge of the U.S. District Court, Southern District, and close working associate of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, when both were part of the famed NAACP legal team that won Brown v. Board of Education. 2001 Judge Albie Sachs of the Constitutional Court of South

College of Law, former Co-president of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), a national organization of nearly 800 law professors; she is widely known for her work to advance scholarship in the area of race, gender, and the law.
2006–07 Professor Anthony Paul Farley of Boston College Law School,

an expert on constitutional law, criminal procedure, and legal theory, and an Affiliated Professor with the Graduate Department of Sociology and African & African Diaspora Studies at Boston College.
2007–08 Richard Abel, Michael J. Connell Professor of Law at UCLA and Faculty Coordinator for the public interest law program; he participated in the founding of the Conference on Critical Legal Studies in 1977, and helped organize the Conference’s meeting titled Law and Racism: The Sounds of Silence. 2008–09 Professor Margaret Montoya of the University of New

Africa and former African National Congress leader in the struggle for democracy in South Africa.
2001–02 Professor Eric Yamamoto of the William S. Richardson

School of Law at the University of Hawaii, civil rights scholar, and litigator of cases on reparations for Asian-Americans interned during the Second World War.
2002–03 Professor Camilo Perez Bustillo, formerly of the Instituto

Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores in Monterrey, Mexico, founder of Multicultural Education, Training, and Advocacy (META), and scholar/activist on international issues of poverty and self-determination.

Mexico Law School, the first Hispanic woman accepted at Harvard Law School, and an expert on race, ethnicity, gender, and language; she received the Harvard University Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship and runs a television roundtable on a local PBS station discussing the news in New Mexico.



CUNY Law’s Clinics:
Legal Education for Social Justice

or more than a decade, CUNY Law’s signature clinical program has been recognized as a national leader in clinical education. The clinics are structured as an in-house law firm called Main Street Legal Services. Students in the clinic provide direct, supervised client representation to more than 1,000 low-income individuals and families throughout New York City. “The clinics model effective social justice lawyering in a range of areas,” said Associate Dean for Clinical Programs Sameer Ashar. “Our students bring to the program strong commitment and, in most cases, directly relevant work experience. We provide them with opportunities to work alongside clients and partner organizations, as they learn to become excellent lawyers for poor people.” Unlike other law schools, which typically limit clinical experience to eight credits, CUNY requires each third-year student to participate in a clinic or clinical concentration for one or two semesters (12 to 16 credits). To prepare students for direct client work, the clinics engage them in a prerequisite lawyering seminar, which uses simulations, mock jury trials, mediations, arbitrations, and substantive theory as training. Each CUNY Law clinic and clinical concentration serves a distinct social justice and educational need. We invite you to read more about the amazing students, faculty, and clients at the heart of CUNY Law’s clinical program.
Associate Dean for Clinical Programs Sameer Ashar



ose and Carmen were getting on a bus back to New York City after a long day of employment training in upstate New York. Their journey stopped abruptly, however, when U.S. Immigration and Customs singled them out at the bus station for identification to determine whether they were legally allowed to be in the United States. “Racial profiling has led to the targeting and intimidation of different communities in this country,” said liliana Yanez, an instructor in CUNY law’s Immigrant & Refugee Rights Clinic (IRRC). “There’s a clear disregard for basic rights under the law, and many people, as in Jose and Carmen’s case, are being denied due process,” she added. This case is among the many addressing the constitutional, due process, and search and seizure violations that make up the docket of the IRRC. one of the first immigration law clinics in the country, the clinic takes a broader approach than most law


From left, Director of the Immigrant & Refugee Rights Clinic (IRRC) Ramzi Kassem, IRRC Instructor Liliana Yanez, IRRC Social Work Supervisor and Adjunct Professor Martha Garcia, and CUNY Law Director of Immigrant Initiatives Alizabeth Newman

schools. It covers areas as varied as national security and detainee rights in the wake of 9/11, battered immigrant women’s rights, labor rights, and deportation and asylum. Through the clinic, students act as first chair in representing clients. They interview witnesses, prepare clients for trial, gather and submit evidence, craft legal strategy, and brief issues. “The students are centrally involved in all of the cases,” said Yanez. “we provide the supervision to support them in their role as attorneys.” The clinic’s docket continues to grow as misguided legislation, passed under the guise of anti-terrorism measures and immigration reform, further threatens the civil liberties of immigrant communities of color. The docket includes cases of legal permanent residents who have already served their sentences for misdemeanors committed decades ago but who suddenly find themselves facing deportation for those long-ago crimes. “families are being torn apart in the name of ‘immigration enforcement,’ ” said Yanez. “These punitive laws make every immigrant vulnerable, including legal permanent residents and those fleeing persecution from other countries.” The clinic represents individual clients and also supports a variety of community-based organizations to advocate for changes in the law. Through its national security work protecting the habeas corpus rights of detainees abroad, the students represent

three detainees in Guantánamo Bay and a detainee at Bagram airbase in afghanistan who has been imprisoned since 2003 without charges or access to an attorney. In the U.S., students in the IRRC, in tandem with CUNY law School’s Criminal defense Clinic, also work with Muslim-based community groups in Queens whose members suddenly find themselves approached by law enforcement. “Individuals and families are facing interrogation at home, at work, and in their places of worship,” said IRRC director Ramzi Kassem. “The students are educating people on their rights.” IRRC students also provide urgent legal assistance to immigrant survivors of gender violence. Immigrant spouses of abusive U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents are easy prey. “often, women suffer physical and emotional abuse, but if they leave their marriage before they gain legal status, they could face deportation,” said CUNY law director of Immigrant Initiatives alizabeth Newman. In response, the clinic partnered with an organization called SePa Mujer in long Island to assist women in applying for legal status. The clinic provides an interdisciplinary environment, with the involvement of social work students and IRRC Social work Supervisor and adjunct Professor Martha Garcia. This gives law students a broader, more multifaceted approach to clients, particularly clients who have experienced trauma. Some immigrants confront exploitation and abuse not only in the home, but also on the job. Clinic students represent domestic workers and immigrant restaurant workers who are denied wages, hours, or worker protections. “our immigrant labor docket directly supports low-wage worker organizing in a range of industries and immigrant communities,” said Sameer ashar, associate dean for clinical programs. ••


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hen tragedy struck haiti in January, CUNY law students took action. “Immediately the students wanted to use their legal skills to do something to help,” said CUNY law director of Immigrant Initiatives alizabeth Newman. “They recognized that many haitians living in the U.S. could not return home, since their communities were destroyed by the earthquakes,” she explained. “But the students knew that legal protection was needed for them to stay here.” as a result, the students formed a new partnership with haitian americans United for Progress, helping haitians file for temporary protected status (TPS). Gaining TPS will enable haitians living here to stay in the U.S. for another 18 months while their country is being rebuilt. TPS also provides an opportunity for work authorization that serves as a governmentissued Id and entitles the holder to a Social Security number, so that he or she can work while in the United States. “There are people who were here on a three-month tourist visa, and suddenly their entire village and families are gone,” reflected Newman. “others have been here longer, trying to build a better life. Their options for going back to haiti have radically, and often irrevocably, changed.” To support the student-driven initiative, Newman said, faculty from the Immigrant & Refugee Rights Clinic (IRRC) agreed to reconfigure the syllabus, so that Newman could teach the history, politics, and legal mechanics of filing for TPS. Now,

every Saturday, CUNY law students go on-site to Cambria heights and screen people for TPS eligibility, counsel them on the application process, assist them with the paperwork, and draft affidavits, when necessary, to prove haitian descent.

although this project is being run through CUNY law’s IRRC, it is not limited to third-year clinic students. first-year and second-year CUNY law students have also volunteered and are getting direct hands-on experience serving communities in need. “we have students acting as assistants and interpreters and have established a tiered level of supervision and training among students,” said Newman. alums from the law School’s Community legal Resource Network with expertise in immigration law are also involved. “CUNY law students and practitioners are linked to different communities, so we can be responsive when something comes up,” Newman noted. “we are very proud of our students’ initiative, commitment, and savvy in supporting New York’s diverse populations.” ••

Top row, from left: Martin Brown, Talia Peleg, IRRC Instructors Alizabeth Newman and Liliana Yanez, Daniel Debski. Second row, from left: Laura Matthews, Nitin Goyal, Christina Jensen, Mona Patel, Madhuri Kumar. Bottom row, from left: Yasmin Salama, Shirley Lin, Lili Biesemeyer, Disha Chandiramani





alking down the street on the way to a friend’s house doesn’t sound risky, does it? It could be, however, if you are african-american or latino. data reveals that most individuals stopped and frisked, arrested, and locked in holding cells in New York City’s criminal courts are people of color. “There are some stops and arrests that would never happen in other neighborChallenging the Status Quo hoods. when we have clients who are arrested for trespass while simply trying to visit a friend’s apartment, it really makes you question the practices and policies that are being used by the police,” said Nicole Smith, an instructor in the Criminal defense Clinic. In other scenarios, Smith said young african-american and latino men can suddenly find themselves handcuffed for resisting arrest, simply because they questioned why they were frisked when only cell phones and keys were found. “Many law school clinics deal with prisoner reentry,” said Clinic director Steve Zeidman. “we’re more concerned with how and why someone entered in the first place. You don’t have to look too far to see the racially disparate impact of New York City’s heralded quality-of-life policing,” he explained. “The end results of so-called ‘broken windows’ policing, where police target certain neighborhoods and aggressively enforce minor infractions, are the harassment and destabilization of families and neighborhoods of color. If broken windows are the problem, why not just fix the windows?” Student defenders are wholly involved in their cases. They interview clients and witnesses, investigate the scene, research the law, file all necessary motions, and advocate on their clients’ behalf in and out of the courtroom. In addition to this aspect of its docket, the clinic strives to address some of prisoners’ unmet legal needs, including addressing disciplinary hearings that result in long stretches of de facto solitary confinement, resentencing under Rockefeller drug law reforms, and submitting petitions for gubernatorial clemency. “Given that the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, our goal is to train new lawyers to help a desperately underserved population and to expose the injustice and absurdity of trying to solve social problems by locking people up,” said Clinic Professor donna lee. Recently, the clinic assisted several men eligible for new, lower sentences under Rockefeller drug law reforms. The process made a deep impression on clinic student Bronyn heubach. “The man we met with had no reason to trust us or to put his faith in us. But he did, and he opened up his entire life. You just don’t get that in any other context, and it’s powerful to tell someone you are going to try to help deliver their freedom,” heubach said. heubach and her law student partner argued that the reforms were meant specifically for someone like their client, a man with undiagnosed mental health problems serving five-and-a-half to 11 years for being peripherally involved in a drug sale. The motion was granted, and their client was released from prison. In another case, a man with deep community and family ties was serving four-and-a-half to nine years for selling $10 worth of cocaine. The students filed a motion on his behalf arguing that on every statutory and moral measure, he had already served more than enough prison time. although the prosecutor argued in opposition, the motion was granted and the client was released. “The work in the clinic immediately reconnected me to why I wanted to go to law school,” said student Beena ahmad. “from the initial interaction with a client to seeing a case all the way through, I’ve had the opportunity to tackle the issues of civil liberties and incarceration.” Both heubach and ahmad called it “an honor” to work on these cases. ••
Back row, from left: Instructor Nicole Smith, Clinic Director Steve Zeidman, Student Bronyn Heubach Front row, from left: Professor Donna Lee, Student Beena Ahmad



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amona Ortega’s vision to organize domestic workers in Queens and launch a worker-owned cooperative was met with widespread enthusiasm. “Cooperatives create desperately needed employment alternatives and contribute to the larger workers’ rights movement,” said Ortega, who founded Cidadao Global (CG), the first Brazilian community-based organization in New York City. “A domestic workers’ cooperative owned and operated by immigrant women guards against the pervasive wage and gender exploitation that is all too common in the industry,” she added. “Now that the domestic workers are part of a cooperative, they aren’t just going alone into someone’s house, and that makes a powerful difference,” Ortega said. “Joining together supports them in negotiating wages and hours and provides them with the respect that their work deserves and the dignity of being a small-business owner.” Ortega turned to CUNY Law’s Community & Economic Development Clinic (CEDC) to help the women establish their business. “I knew that CUNY Law was the place to assist us in developing the cooperative,” she remembered. “The commitment to public interest shows in how the students work with the women.” Incorporating a small business and drafting bylaws are not just legal transactions for the CEDC. Instead, students get involved with organizations on a much deeper and more philosophical level. “We work creatively with nonprofits and cooperatives to help them think through different models of sustainability and structure,” said CEDC Director Carmen Huertas-Noble. “The traditional hierarchical and centralized business models typically don’t represent our clients’ missions, which are based on Turning Vision into Reality diffusing and sharing power,” she added. As a result, students have the opportunity to help launch organizations that build collective leadership and are structured on alternative ownership and governance models. “Typical corporate structures don’t apply neatly to our clients, and a lot of tailoring needs to be done. It’s exciting and engaging for our students to work on innovative projects that promote social justice,” said Huertas-Noble. Students work directly with the members of CG, talking through their vision, facilitating their decision making on the legal issues, and capturing those decisions when drafting corresponding legal documents. In addition to CG, CEDC clients include Rehabilitation in Action to Improve Neighborhoods (RAIN), a community land trust on the Lower East Side that provides for sustainable affordable housing, and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-U), which fights for improved employment conditions for restaurant workers. In this instance, students have counseled ROC-U on its vision of expanding nationally and are currently drafting an affiliation agreement between ROC-U and its affiliates. “CEDC clients are advocates against employment abuses, gender exploitation, environmental injustice, and other social injustices. They want to structure their model organizations to reflect their social justice values,” Huertas-Noble emphasized. “Students work closely with clients to help them navigate their choices on a number of mission-driven subjects in which other attorneys typically don’t engage. We help our clients figure out who will have what kind of power within the organization and how that power will be exercised,” she said. “It’s very nuanced in that we help organizations institutionalize their values through the legal structures we help create.” ••
From left: Student Thyra Smith, Cidadao Global Founder Ramona Ortega, Student Maggie Sposato, CEDC Director Carmen Huertas-Noble






rom its inception as one of the first human rights clinics at a U.S.-based law school, CUNY law’s International women’s human Rights Clinic has pursued a multifaceted strategy to access justice, paying particular attention to the intersections of race, gender, and class worldwide. The clinic’s innovative legal advocacy and in-depth collaborations with clients, activists, and co-counsel in diverse and multicultural settings are distinct marks of its groundbreaking work in the areas of violence against women and reproductive, sexual, and economic justice.

What are you working on in the clinic?
fARNOOSh: I’m currently working on the case of a young woman who was trafficked to the United States from her home in South america when she was 16 years old. She was falsely promised that she would be paid to take care of her stepsister’s newborn infant and that she would have the opportunity to go to high school in the United States. This action was brought under federal and state wage and hour laws, pursuant to the alien Tort Claims act for trafficking, slavery, forced labor, involuntary servitude, unjust enrichment, and state torts. at this point, we are preparing for oral arguments on a summary judgment motion. This case is important because while trafficking within families is a common occurrence, it has been overlooked by the legal system. This case shows that abuse and exploitation of domestic workers occurs not only in traditional settings but also among family members. RENEE: My group and I have teamed up with the Nobel women’s

Students In Their Own Words
A conversation with third-year law clinic students Farnoosh Moghadassi and Renee Love

What inspired you to choose the International Women’s human Rights (IWhR) Clinic as your clinic placement?
fARNOOSh: I chose to attend this law school specifically for the

IwhR Clinic, as it is one of the few human rights clinics in the U.S. that focuses on women’s rights. Being from Iran, a country with an oppressive patriarchy where conservative rulers have stripped women of their basic rights, opened my eyes to the many injustices faced by women throughout the world. I wanted to join the IwhR Clinic in order to acquire a foundational knowledge of international law and to gain the capacity to challenge injustice through creative, strategic thinking. In addition, I wanted to learn more about particular issues such as trafficking, gender discrimination, religion, and culture as they relate to international human rights law.
RENEE: I chose to go to law school after living in an impov-

Initiative to present the International Tribunal on Crimes against women of Burma, which was held in New York City in March 2010. This project consisted of doing a lot of research on international human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. we also worked with the judges, who were Nobel laureates and human rights advocates, to determine what the findings were and what the recommendations should be for addressing these human rights issues. Currently, we are working on the final judgment, which will explain the facts, taken from the testimonies and human rights reports; the international criminal law and human rights violations that apply to Burma; and the findings and recommendations from the judges. The most memorable part was that we were able to work with the testifiers before the tribunal to make sure their stories were told to the world. ••

erished area in the former Soviet Union for two years and witnessing firsthand what women’s lives are like when they are not given the same rights as men, or don’t have the same access as men to a better life. This is also why I chose the International women’s human Rights Clinic. Through the clinic, we are able to learn about different human rights and different techniques and venues to advocate for those rights. The clinic also introduces us to options for fighting for international human rights laws and norms domestically in the United States, which hopefully I will be able to do after law school.

Farnoosh Moghadassi Renee Love


CUNY SChool of law • www.law.CUNY.edU

ne of the founding faculty members of CUNY School of law, Professor Beryl Blaustone is a leading authority in the fields of alternative dispute resolution and clinical legal education. Recognized nationally and internationally for her scholarship and subject-matter expertise, Professor Blaustone has published in the areas of mediation theory, professional roles, clinical legal education, professional skills theory, and evidence law.


What distinguishes CUNY Law’s Mediation Clinic?
Unlike clinics at other other law schools, our Mediation Clinic is an intensive, full-time semester clinical offering that requires a prerequisite lawyering seminar in mediation. This mediation program combines rigorous theoretical study with advanced skills building. as a result, from day one in the clinic, clinic interns start observing actual cases and begin their mediation practice in a number of different venues. They mediate cases in New York State Civil Court, small claims court, and Queens community mediation centers. They participate in mediation of employment discrimination claims and in disability discrimination claims. They learn through close faculty supervision, intensive debriefing, professional reflection, and semiweekly rounds. The Mediation Clinic averages between 55 and 75 cases each fall semester.

Professor Beryl Blaustone, Director of CUNY’s Mediation Clinic

the mediation of employment discrimination claims and disability discrimination claims. These cases offer important professional development opportunities for CUNY law students because the numbers of these disputes are increasing, and these matters demand attention to an individualized sense of fairness that often cannot be effectively provided by our courts. Next year, we will begin a pilot program in mediating special education cases.

What skills do students learn through the clinic?
Mediation Clinic interns become competent problem solvers in many different contexts within our legal justice system, as well as in society as a whole. Students learn how to rigorously investigate the facts, gather information, and problem solve. Importantly, they also learn active listening, which is the most fundamental skill to any successful legal interviewing activity. The students are trained to uncover the essential issues in a case, so that they are not solely focused on a legal theory. Rather, they are addressing all the nuances and implications of the situation for each party involved in the case. In addition to conducting mediations, students research legal issues, write briefing memos for advocates and mediators, and advise individuals and organizational clients on adopting effective institutional decision-making systems. CUNY law alumni of the Mediation Clinic have gone on to work in a full range of positions in both the private and public sectors. They are practicing family law and conducting divorce mediations; directing community mediation centers; directing specific mediation programs; serving as law clerks charged with mediating cases for their judges; and working as advocates in the fields of foster care, juvenile justice, and disability rights.

A Conversation with Beryl Blaustone
how does mediation contribute to social justice lawyering?
Many mediation skills are essential for all lawyering in the 21st century because effective legal problem solving requires a multidimensional approach and not solely an adversarial perspective. Mediation can be an empowering experience for all parties, but especially those from marginalized communities. our law students support the exercise of self-determination as well as accountability among conflicting parties by restoring decision-making authority to all participants in the dispute. There is great hope for change when people decide what’s in their own best interests, rather than having someone else dictate it. This creates the possibility for more participation among disenfranchised voices in public affairs. Mediation can provide more opportunity for balanced participation because mediators are ethically obligated to guard against overreaching and exploitation. In the Mediation Clinic, we drafted our own governing professional code of ethics, which sets the best standards for mediation practice; our interns operate at all times under these high expectations. This is especially important because many people cannot afford a lawyer. In fact, we are seeing more and more cases of self-representation. we are committed to providing as much access as possible. ••

What types of issues and cases does the clinic tackle?
In addition to working in the courts and with community mediation programs, we have a special project dedicated to




he impact of a new local ordinance was clear: It primarily targeted latinos, said third-year CUNY law student Katie Meyers. Passed in a suburban enclave of long Island, the law banned day laborers, most of whom were latino, from soliciting work. “I was in the field, meeting with community advocates and brainstorming means by which to organize latinos who were suddenly prohibited from seeking the work that was so vital to supporting their families. It’s important that people affected by the law have a voice,” said Meyers, discussing her field placement with latinoJustice PRldef, formerly the Puerto Rican legal defense and education fund. Challenging civil rights violations is at the heart of CUNY law’s equality Concentration. Through a range of social justice field placements, students learn firsthand how to apply constitutional law and civil rights statutes. Meyers said her internship with latinoJustice PRldef also provided her with an opportunity to brief recent Supreme Court decisions for attorneys, including analyzing what impact these cases will have on future litigation, particularly disparate impact cases. “The fieldwork gave me an opportunity to extend the work I did as an undergraduate on contemporary race relations and discrimination.” Professor Rick Rossein, who runs the equality Concentration, said that CUNY law’s deep ties to the civil rights and social justice communities provide ample opportunity for solid, in-depth field placements. Student experiences might include conducting fact finding on a police brutality case, investigating discrimination claims, drafting a brief in a gender or race discrimination case, or assisting with depositions. “we have a strong network of field placements, and CUNY law students are trusted by the organizations in which they are placed,” said Rossein. “The students’ knowledge base allows Site, Fostering Justice them to be quickly integrated into a field placement and to take on important responsibilities.” “Through the years, CUNY law interns have provided valuable legal research, client preparation, and pre-trial preparation in our constitutional and civil rights litigation,” said Jackson Chin, an associate counsel at latinoJustice PRldef. “we continue to support the School’s vision of incubating the next generation of public interest law practitioners and leaders.” other field placements include the Center for Constitutional Rights; legal Momentum; New York lawyers for the Public Interest; the New York State attorney General’s office, Civil Rights Bureau; the U.S. equal employment opportunity Commission; the New York State division for human Rights; and private firms handling civil rights litigation. “our goal,” explained Rossein, “is to pair on-site learning with doctrine, theory, and lawyering skills so that students get a wellrounded and strong knowledge base.” Rossein added that those in the concentration examine racial and sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace, in addition to affirmative action, sexual orientation, disability, age, and other potential discrimination issues. “Part of the pedagogy is to ensure that seminar teachings relate directly to the work the students do in the field. Unlike other law schools,” he added, “we don’t just outsource our students into field placements. we closely supervise them, pay attention to their placements, and provide an opportunity for the students to learn from one another.” In addition to fieldwork and weekly rounds where students talk about the legal issues they are addressing in the field, the concentration includes group work, where students are put in small teams that then act as a “firm” on a hypothetical case. Through the simulations, students collaborate in lawyering exercises including developing the facts of a case, drafting legal memoranda, preparing discovery plans, drafting court complaints, and conducting examinations in a trial-like setting. “Throughout CUNY law, whether it is in the clinics or in the classroom, we take a comprehensive approach, using everything from hypotheticals to field placements, all with the goal of integrating theory and practice,” said Rossein. ••
From left: Student Katie Meyers, LatinoJustice PRLDEF Associate Counsel Jackson Chin, Equality Concentration Director Rick Rossein



CUNY SChool of law • www.law.CUNY.edU



CUNY alum and Supervising Attorney for the Legal Aid Society’s Health Law Unit Lisa Sbrana and Health Law Concentration Director Paula Berg

allers phoning the New York legal aid Society’s health law Unit face serious legal problems, including the denial of life-saving surgery, crushing medical debt, and the wrongful termination of Medicaid benefits. They’ve called the unit because they can’t afford a lawyer. for many years, interns from CUNY law School’s health law Concentration have been among the people taking their calls.


In the Field, Making Change
“CUNY law students are very well-rounded and can hit the ground running,” said legal aid Supervising attorney lisa Sbrana, a 1993 CUNY law School graduate who was one of the first students in the concentration. “CUNY students are good listeners and make people know that they’ve been heard,” she added. “They are very adept at sifting through each situation and making recommendations for potential cases. and,” she noted, “when CUNY law interns translate a caller’s case into a fair hearing or an advocacy letter, it isn’t just stilted legal analysis. They link the law to the facts in a way that’s very compelling.” In 2009, for Sbrana’s contribution to protecting the healthcare rights of low-income New Yorkers, she was recognized with the New York City Bar association’s legal Services award.

This year she was honored with the Commission on the Public’s health System’s 2010 Public health heroes and Sheroes award. “we have a very dedicated group of field supervisors who do interesting and important work and who have a real interest in teaching our students and being role models,” said Professor Paula Berg, who directs the concentration, which has been cotaught with CUNY law Professor Janet Calvo. “field opportunities for students in health law are extremely varied in terms of substantive law and lawyering skills,” she added. In addition to the legal aid Society’s health law Unit, students intern with the attorney General’s health law Unit, organizations focused on hIV/aIdS and other health issues, private firms handling plaintiffs’ medical malpractice cases and suits against health insurance companies, government agencies that regulate health-care institutions, and hospital inhouse counsel offices. The curriculum and placements look at health care as a social justice issue. “one of our main goals is to teach students how to use the law to secure access to quality health care for vulnerable populations, such as the disabled, poor people, the elderly, and those with hIV,” said Berg. Sbrana agrees that the concentration makes an important contribution to the field and to academia. “The health law Concentration has a unique perspective in its approach to health care as a human right and in the way that it links book knowledge to practical skills and real life,” observed Sbrana. “The most gratifying thing about teaching this program for so many years,” said Berg, “is that there are now many, many health law Concentration graduates who, like lisa, are doing great work and making a real difference.” ••


CUNY SChool of law • www.law.CUNY.edU

n 1996, when Congress enacted federal “welfare reform,” lives across the country changed, including the lives of more than 25,000 low-income students pursuing degrees at CUNY campuses across New York City. large numbers of these students were single mothers working to obtain the college degree that would enable them to lift their families out of poverty, but the new law—which mandated harsh new “workfare” requirements—made it virtually impossible for these students to continue their education. Indeed, the federal law, coupled with a particularly aggressive campaign by then mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration to slash the city’s welfare rolls, forced thousands of low-income CUNY students to abandon school—and the promise of livingwage employment—to take up “workfare” positions, raking leaves in the parks, sweeping streets, and the like. “Not only did the City’s approach senselessly harm thousands of struggling families,” said Stephen loffredo, director of CUNY law’s economic Justice Project, “it was also enormously counterproductive from a policy perspective.” empirical studies showed that nearly 90 percent of welfare recipients permitted to earn a baccalaureate degree from CUNY obtained substantial employment and exited the welfare system permanently. By contrast, parents forced out of school and into the first low-wage job available overwhelmingly remained in poverty and tended to cycle back into welfare. In response to this social justice crisis, CUNY law launched the economic Justice Project (eJP) in 1997. eJP students work on several fronts, including providing direct representation to CUNY undergraduates facing challenges to their workfare requirements and pressing for the adoption of more rational and humane policies. eJP students also work with community antipoverty organizations, principally the welfare Rights Initiative (wRI), an activist organization mobilizing low-income students that emerged at CUNY’s hunter College. eJP and wRI’s collaboration has reached more than 1,000 CUNY students and has achieved important successes in shifting public policy, including the work Study and Internship law. This state statute substantially increased access to college for people receiving public assistance. Currently, the eJP–wRI collaboration is focused at the state level on legislation that would permit four-year college students to count academic work toward workfare requirements. at the federal level, eJP and wRI are working on the 2010 Congressional reauthorization of the Temporary assistance for Needy families program. “The mutual reinforcement between legal advocacy, law reform, and grassroots activism makes it possible to deepen our impact,” said loffredo. he also noted that the collaboration


offers a new model for social justice movement building. “our commitment of legal resources to advance grassroots organizing efforts both borrows from ’60s-era strategies and attempts to move beyond them. we encourage our students to think creatively, though perhaps with some humility, about the various ways in which law and its practitioners can contribute to movements for progressive social change.” ••

Graduation as an Anti-Poverty Strategy

Economic Justice Project Director Stephen Loffredo




CUNY SChool of law • www.law.CUNY.edU



orking in the elder law Clinic is like having a regular job with the added advantage of close supervision and guidance from the professors,” said elder law Clinic student Protecting the Aged Maryam arif. “we get direct client contact, go to court, and draft documents that help ordinary people solve everyday problems.” aside from physical and emotional issues that may require attention, elders and their families often have to tackle a number of legal issues, such as planning for incapacity and death, navigating the maze of government benefits, or securing a guardianship as a last resort for an elder who needs help in managing her personal and property needs. elders also face situations of neglect and abuse, which require urgent legal intervention. “Students in the clinic work closely with clients, other professionals, the courts, and families to map out and resolve the elder’s specific legal needs,” said elder law Clinic director Joe Rosenberg. “The law School curriculum, including clinic seminars and supervision, provides students with a critical perspective, legal knowledge, and lawyering skills that prepare them for client representation,” added Rosenberg, who supervises each case and works closely with students individually and in teams. The cases on which students work can vary from adult guardianships that involve litigation to estate planning that requires students to draft wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advanced health directives. In addition, in a testament to the credibility and reputation of the elder law Clinic, phone calls from courts and prospective clients seeking CUNY law’s assistance in guardianship proceedings are common. Specifically, courts appoint the elder law Clinic to serve as court evaluator or attorney in guardianship cases to protect individuals who are alleged to be incapacitated. Students investigate these cases to ensure that the allegations are authentic, and, if a guardian is appointed, that the guardian is granted only those powers that are necessary. arif talked about the complexities of these cases. “These cases can determine who may or may not ultimately gain control of someone’s finances, property, health care decisions, and other personal matters, including where to live,” said arif. “These are major life decisions, so it’s critical that we investigate each case thoroughly and protect the rights of the elderly, some of whom may be vulnerable to financial exploitation and abuse.” arif is in the process of arguing in support of an elderly woman who contacted CUNY law because a guardian was appointed to oversee her personal and property needs after a New York Supreme Court in Queens County deemed her incapacitated following an eviction proceeding. each month, the caseworker from the guardianship agency gives arif’s client only a small portion of her Social Security check to live on, while asserting that the remainder is going into a trust. “The client is understandably distressed and wants to be free from their control,” said arif. “I have been working with her and believe that she is able to care for herself with the support of friends and family, making a guardian unnecessary. we will go to court on her behalf, should the guardian refuse to step down,” she added. In cases in which the clinic serves as court evaluator (the “eyes and ears” of the court), clinic students work with the judge and attorneys for the parties, and an array of other professionals (including doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and home care workers) analyze legal and nonlegal issues, outline a series of recommendations in a written report, and testify at the hearing. although graduating students in this clinic are prepared for elder law practice, they also often apply their clinic experience in family law and general community-based practices. ••


Elder Law Clinic Director Joe Rosenberg and Student Maryam Arif


a lumni • news

alumni News
ROBERT BANK joined american Jewish world Service as executive vice president in March 2009. last year, he received the lifetime achievement award from Gay Men’s health Crisis and the Partners in Justice award from aVodah: The Jewish Service Corps. In January, he was a featured speaker at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, as part of their Martin luther King Jr. day celebration. he lives in New York City with his life partner, alan Cohen. JANE COLEMAN CAMERON was recently certified as an advanced Relax and Renew yoga instructor. ALICE gADELOff gRAVES writes “The Sec-

1998 as associate general counsel, and patents and regional patent director of Northeast asia.
hON. ThOMAS J. WALSh was sworn in as a superior court judge for the State of New Jersey in January 2010. he was assigned to the family Part of the Chancery division in Union County Vicinage in elizabeth.

versity’s Beasley School of law. he lives in northwest Philadelphia with REBECCA BAEhR (’93) and their two daughters.



(’94) were honored at the New York City Chapter of the National lawyers Guild’s 2009 Spring fling for legal work in the tenants’ rights movement. Now with the administrative law Unit at dC 37 MelS, fawcett ambia is also doing some temporary protected status applications for undocumented haitians.
KATYA pLOTNIK announces the birth of her

daughter, Tara Sophie, born in december 2009. She has started a solo immigration practice in forest hills, New York.
hON. TODD M. TURNER was elected to a

ond half,” a column about life after 50, for the St. Petersburg Times. She is working on her master’s degree in library and information science at the University of South florida.
Ellen Pober Rittberg

BRIAN h. LOWY received the President’s

award for excellence in Teaching at the Queens College faculty and Staff assembly in october 2009.

hON. DORIS gONZALEZ was appointed act-

ing supreme court justice by hon. anne Pfau in Bronx County in January 2010.

ELLEN pOBER RITTBERg has published 35 Things Your Teens Won’t Tell You, So I Will. The book describes her techniques, such as guerilla parenting, using stealth, expressing love, and assuming the proper stance and position. Visit www.ellenpoberrittberg.com for information on readings.

third term in November as council member in the City of Bowie, Maryland, and was recently selected to serve as second vice chair of the washington Council of Governments Transportation Planning Board as the Maryland representative.

ChARLES CASOLARO was recently asked

MARYBETh ROgERS has been named a

by the new Nassau County executive, edward Mangano, to assist in the revamping of the Nassau tax/property assessment system.
JUDITh fLAMENBAUM closed her private prac-

SINCE OCTOBER 2007, JANE JAffE has been

an administrative law judge in Brooklyn for the New York State office of Children and family Services.

superior court judge of the Civil division in hudson County, N.J.

EVE ROSAhN continues to serve as the di-

EDWARD A. SQUILLANTE JR. is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark office and received an ll.M. in intellectual property law from the John Marshall law School in January 1999. he has been working at Unilever USa since

rector of the Parole Revocation defense Unit of the legal aid Society, a position she has held since 2008.
ROgER SChRADINg continues as a public

tice in 2002, in which she had represented women who were victims of domestic violence. She then became the director of the Contested Matrimonial Program at the association of the Bar of the City of New York (aBCNY). Now retired, she volunteers at aBCNY on publication divorces and is on the legal advisory Committee for Sanctuary for families.
DR. SAM OAKLAND, though no longer with the Siberian law Institute at Novosibirsk State University (NSU),

defender in the homicide Unit of the defender association of Philadelphia. he is also an adjunct professor at Temple Uni-


CUNY SChool of law • www.law.CUNY.edU

a llumni • news

still writes recommendations for his former NSU & Belarus State economic University law students in Russian law practice in the former Soviet Union. he also continues his work as a U.S. forest park ranger.
LINDA h. SChWAgER, who has a solo practice

Jacobson, and who now goes by farrell, was featured in the California employment lawyers association bulletin. her organization, the hIV/aIdS legal Services alliance, seeks fundraising support and publicity to continue its programs in light of government budget cuts.

AZALIA VOLpE (nee lopez) gave birth to a

son, Vespasian amand Volpe, in November 2009.


in oakland, New Jersey, was reappointed as a prosecutor in the Bergen County Central Municipal Court in hackensack and nominated to become treasurer of the Bergen County Bar association.
ROSINA TAffURI was a staff attorney at

ANgELA M. REDMAN is now a court attorney for the honorable Tanya R. Kennedy in Kings County family Court. hAEYOUNg YOON began work at the

the administration for Children’s Services through 2000 and then a court attorney for the New York State office of Court administration through 2008. In 2009, she was appointed deputy chief court counsel to the New York City family Court and also appointed director of the access to Justice Volunteer attorney Program for the New York City family Court.

National employment law Project in february, working on low-wage and immigrant worker issues. e-mail haeyoungyoon@gmail.com.

Antonio, first son of Irma Dominguez and John Volpe

IRMA E. DOMINgUEZ and her husband,

MARK S. SILVER recently published Handbook of Mitigation in Criminal and Immigration Forensics: Humanizing the Client Towards a Better Legal Outcome.

John Volpe, expect the birth of Benjamin Santiago dominguez-Volpe in June 2010. dominguez has cofounded and directs a community organization, CaMINoS, aimed at providing legal advocacy to victims of domestic abuse.
EVA gOLINgER, in Caracas, Venezuela,

JOSEph B. MAIRA invites inquiries con-


cerning cases in any New Jersey county. Information at www.mairalaw.com.

KAThLEEN E. MCLAUghLIN continues the

investigates U.S. strategies of intervention in latin america. She published two books last year on developments in Bolivia, honduras, and Venezuela. She is now editor-in-chief of Venezuela’s first and only english-language newspaper, the Correo del Orinoco International. e-mail: evagolinger@gmail.com.

general practice firm she established in 2004 and also works part-time as an eR nurse and as a staff pool attorney for the Monmouth County Public defenders office’s Juvenile division.
KEVIN K. TUNg’S practice, Kevin Kerveng

E. MIChELLE ANDREWS was appointed to serve on the Committee on International human Rights of the association of the Bar of the City of New York for the 2009–2011 term. She is also a new member of the Blue hill Troupe, a performance group that raises money for New York charities. Information at www.bht.org. DAVID MICKENBERg has been named a

Tung, P.C., established in 1999, has grown to 10 attorneys and specializes in civil and criminal litigations, real estate and business transactions, securities compliance filings, business merger and acquisitions, bankruptcy filings and litigations, and immigration. Information at www.kktlawfirm.com.

Christina (Trihas) Tsevoukas (’03) at her wedding in September 2009. Classmates from left: Allegra Santomauro (’03), Tsevoukas, and Deirdre O’Brien (’03)

MIChAEL hUghES has been appointed to the position of principal court attorney in the Criminal division of the New York State Supreme Court. DEIRDRE O’BRIEN was a panelist on “war

pEggY fARRELL, who held the maiden

name Jacobson, and then later Roman-

Crimes Trials: lessons for the future” in february 2010 at NYU law School. She will be an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies teaching conflict resolution in May 2010.

partner at the law firm of Mickenberg, dunn, lachs, hazel & Smith, in Burlington, Vermont, handling labor relations, civil litigation on behalf of not-forprofits, and workers’ compensation claims made by union members. Information at www.mickdunn.com.



a lumni • news


(’09) helped win a four-week extension on the recent layoffs of 530 school aides across Manhattan and Brooklyn. as part of the department of education employees local 372 and district Council 37’s legal team, they are preparing a new case in an effort to have the aides reinstated as soon as possible.
NASOAN ShEfTEL-gOMES continues as a staff attorney for the Community development Project at the Urban Justice Center, providing direct legal services to low-income New Yorkers with consumer debt issues. She is engaged to be married to painter/sculptor Navin June Norling on october 10, 2010.

handling all the juvenile cases, some adult indictable crimes, and violations of probation. he and wife, Janne, had their first child, annika Claire, on January 22, 2010.
CARLA p. MONIZ was recently named one of the Boston Bar association’s 2009–2010 top 15 up-and-coming public interest leaders. ELIZABETh pALOMBO is employed as the

Since october of 2009, MATThEW BARTOLINI

has been the housing attorney for the homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program of the legal aid Society of Northeastern New York in albany.
LISA DAVIS is drafting a shadow report on women’s human rights violations in response to the Colombian government’s periodic report to the U.N. human Rights Committee. She provides technical assistance to the University of los andes Public Interest law Clinic in framing prisoner human rights abuses, including gender-based abuses, for U.N. submission. JULIETTE fORSTENZER ESpINOSA completed

director of administration/staff writer for the president of the New School in Greenwich Village.


program manager for the Criminal Justice agency’s Supervised Release Program in Queens in January 2010. The program targets persons at arraignment assessed to be a moderate risk of failure to appear and likely to be held on bail, and provides supervision and support services while their cases are pending in court.
NAThANIEL E. DEAKINS works as a deputy

Lara Rabiee and Ava

her ll.M. at Georgetown law in 2009. She was married last year and started health Care Rights Initiative, a new nonprofit. forstenzer espinosa is also program consultant for the alliance for ethnical International Recruitment Practices at academy health in washington d.C.
MUL KYUL KIM works as health policy

state public defender in the appellate division of the office of the Colorado State Public defender in denver.

LARA RABIEE is employed in Melbourne, australia. She and her partner, Mark, had their first child, named ava, in September 2009.

SIENNA BASKIN went from equal Justice works fellow to interim co-director of the Sex workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, where she advocates for the rights of sex workers and survivors of human trafficking. She lives with her partner, ChRISTA DOUAIhY (’08). KIRSTEN fENIK is now living in Tucson,

counsel at the d.C.-based National Center for Transgender equality on healthrelated issues that the lGBT population faces, with a particular focus on transgender people.

have joined ClRN’s Incubator for Justice to start a small firm, Perrone & Zucco, PllC, focusing on direct low-bono representation in immigration law.

JAMES ALEX BARRON was admitted to the New York Bar on January 27, 2010, and is currently awaiting admission to the d.C. Bar. Though still unemployed, he participates in the Pro Bono attorney Volunteer Program with the New York State Courts and the Consumer debt attorney Volunteer Program at the New York Civil Court in Manhattan. ••

ISIDRO “SID” gARBANZOS started his own

Neil Gillespie and Annika

law practice in January 2009. he was admitted to the d.C. Bar on motion in december 2009.
JESSICA REED works as a housing staff attorney at the Bronx aIdS Services legal advocacy Program.

SINCE 2007, NEIL gILLESpIE has been a staff attorney at the warren County, New Jersey, office of the Public defender,


CUNY SChool of law • www.law.CUNY.edU

Facult y • nOtes

faculty Notes
MIChELLE ANDERSON moderated a panel at

the women’s leadership Conference at hunter College in November 2009. also that month, she made a presentation at CUNY law on her work to reform rape law, and she moderated a dialog, “outsider/Insider Strategies to Build Peace and Create Social Change.”
SAMEER AShAR completed his term as

equal opportunity but have opened it up for others to follow. In November 2009, Copelon and the International women’s human Rights Clinic were also honored for their visionary work at a reunion of more than 100 former students and colleagues, some of whom came from as far away as washington State and latin america.
fRANK DEALE’S article “Jurisdiction, Transfer, and Pretrial: Using federal Rules of Civil Procedure 16 to Resolve forum Convenience disputes,” was published in the Howard Law Journal. he was also asked and has agreed to serve on the Professional Staff Congress’s CUNY and Race Committee.
Professor Julie Goldscheid

chair of the association of american law Schools Section on Poverty law by organizing a program at the January 2010 aalS Conference in New orleans titled “The New anti-Poverty advocacy: Constructs, Strategies, and Tactics.”
CAITLIN BORgMANN’S article “The Mean-

ing of ‘life’: Belief and Reason in the abortion debate,” was published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law (2009).
REBECCA BRATSpIES’ recent publications

include: “Regulatory Trust” in the 51 Arizona Law Review (2009) and “Biotechnology, Sustainability, and Trust” in the 18 Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy (2009). She presented “Stewardship, Global Public Goods, and GM Crops” at the CGIaR Strategic Study of Stewardship and liability Meeting in November 2009. Bratspies also presented “what are environmental Rights?” at the University of Connecticut’s human Rights in the USa conference in october 2009 and “Trust and Regulation” at the aalS annual Meeting in January.
RhONDA COpELON was honored with the

Professor Frank Deale

Crossing Borders award by CUNY’s feminist Press in october 2009 at its 39th anniversary gala. The Crossing Borders award recognizes individuals whose leadership promotes women’s equality and who themselves have not only crossed the border delineating

pAMELA EDWARDS authored the chapter

“Non-Mainstream Religions and the law” in the book Law and Magic: A Collection of Essays, recently published by Carolina Press (2010).
JULIE gOLDSChEID presented “ending Vio-

limits of the Gender framework,” at the Violence and Vulnerability Conference at emory law School last November. She also presented “Reconsidering State accountability for domestic Violence” at the latCrit XIV annual Conference at american University in october 2009. Goldscheid was a panelist for “The last Thing hanging in the Closet: lGBT Intimate Partner Violence” at the lavender law Conference in September 2009 and was a panelist at a Columbia law School discussion, “domestic Violence in the lGBT Community,” in recognition of domestic Violence awareness week in october. Goldscheid published “Gender Violence and work: Reckoning with the Boundaries of Sex discrimination law” in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.
CARMEN hUERTAS-NOBLE and BERYL BLAUSTONE co-presented their article, “lawyer-

lence against women: The Utility and

ing at the Intersection of Mediation and Community economic development: Interweaving Inclusive legal Problem



Facult y • nOtes

Solving Skills in the Training of effective lawyers,” at the washington University Scholarship Roundtable on New directions in dispute Resolution and Clinical education in November 2009. The article will be published in volume 34 of Washington University Journal of Law & Policy. huertas-Noble was also a panelist for CUNY law’s CloRe fall 2009 film program screening of Whose Barrio? The Gentrification of East Harlem.
RAMZI KASSEM was quoted in a range of media outlets, including TIME, The New York Times, The Miami Herald, MSNBC World News, and The San Francisco Chronicle on military detentions in Guantánamo Bay and Bagram airbase in afghanistan and on law enforcement’s racial profiling of the Muslim community in Queens, New York. In January, the d.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in Al-Maqaleh v. Gates, the first legal challenge on behalf of detainees at Bagram airbase, in which CUNY law’s Immigrant & Refugee Rights Clinic was co-counsel. JEff KIRChMEIER’S article, “The Undis-

Critical outsider Theory and Praxis in the Policymaking of the New american Regime” and moderated the roundtable discussion “In Search of a wise latina: a discussion on the Nomination and Confirmation of the first latina Supreme Court Justice,” at the latCrit XIV annual Conference at american University in october 2009.

Professor Andrea McArdle

covered Country: execution Competency and Comprehending death,” was published in the Kentucky Law Journal in January. he also coauthored First Year Law School Flash Cards, which was published by Barron’s educational Series, Inc. in January. Kirchmeier gave a Cle presentation called “foundations of habeas Corpus” at the annual habeas Corpus Training Program for Pro Bono attorneys at the New York City Bar association in october 2009.
ShIRLEY LUNg presented “The four-day work week: But what about Ms. Coke, Ms. Upton, and Ms. Blankenship?” at the Symposium on Redefining work: Implications of the four-day work week in october 2009. her discussion addressed the exclusion of poor and low-income women of color from discussions about work/family conflicts based on rising hours of work.

ANDREA MCARDLE was awarded a Ph.d. in american studies from New York University Graduate School of arts and Science, department of Social and Cultural analysis, in January 2010, after defending her dissertation, “Jersey Justice and discourses of Power: Consumer Rights, Good-Mother Citizenship, and the Cold war” the previous November. She recently published “legal Texts as Cultural Narratives of Postwar Suburbia: Gender, Power, and Consumer Protection,” in the anthology Redefining Suburban Studies: Searching for New Paradigms (2009) and “The Socioeconomics of Justice: The Perspective from the law School Classroom,” in International Review of Constitutionalism 193 (2009). JENNY RIVERA received the New York State Bar association’s Kay Crawford Murray award in January 2010. She was also awarded the hispanic National Bar association (hNBa) President’s award in September 2009, and has been appointed to a one-year term to the hNBa’s Commission on women in the Profession. Rivera, YVONNE ChERENA-pAChECO, and pAMELA EDWARDS participated in panel discussions at the hispanic association of Colleges and Universities 23rd annual Conference, “Pathways to a Career in the legal Profession,” in November 2009. Rivera also participated in the roundtable discussion “outsiders Inside:

Distinguished Professor Ruthann Robson

RUThANN ROBSON completed her three-

part series, “Before and after Sappho,” which interweaves ancient Greek figures with contemporary writers and legal controversies. Part one, “logos” (focusing on helen of Troy), is now available at the online journal Trivia: Voices of Feminism; Part Two, “eudaemonia” (focusing on artemis), is now published in Law and Literature; and Part Three, “demokratia” (centering on antigone), appears in the law and literature issue of Stetson Law Review. In November 2009, she organized and moderated the Third annual distinguished Professor Conversation, “Translating equality,” at CUNY School of law, with JENNY RIVERA and poet and Queens College distinguished Professor Kimiko hahn. The conversation will be published in the New York City Law Review. Robson spoke at the aalS panel “on the Cutting edge: Charting the future of Sexual orientation and Gender Identity Scholarship” in January and at the lavender law Conference in


CUNY SChool of law • www.law.CUNY.edU

Facult y • NOTES

September 2009. Robson continues to

work on a three-volume, edited anthology on global sexuality and law issues for Ashgate Publishers and a forthcoming book on sexuality and democracy for Cambridge University Press. She also continues to comment on the Constitutional Law Prof Blog.
FRANKLIN SIEGEL and three co-counsel to

RICHARD STORROW’S essay, “The Right to Procreate,” was published in The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion by the University of Chicago Press (2009). He also appeared on the National Adoption Day edition of the Bronx Legal television show to discuss adoption law in New York. LILIANA YANEZ appeared on CUNY TV in November 2009 to discuss the implications of a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service policy for temporary workers. DEBBIE ZALESNE and DAVID NADVORNEY

February. Zalesne was also on the Steering Committee for that conference.
STEVE ZEIDMAN assisted with an amicus

the class in Handschu v. Special Services Division received a ruling in January 2010 concluding their challenge to a 2004 NYPD policy allowing police to videotape and photograph participants at lawful demonstrations and political gatherings. U.S. District Judge Charles S. Haight reaffirmed that the NYPD must follow the Modified Handschu Guidelines, part of a court decree protecting First Amendment expression in New York City from unauthorized Police Department political surveillance.

coauthored the article “Why Don’t They Get It? Academic Intelligence and the Under-Prepared Student as Other,” which was accepted for publication by the Journal of Legal Education. Zalesne and Nadvorney presented their paper “Making Academics Explicit: An Integrated Skills/ Doctrine Contracts Syllabus,” at the Fifth International Conference on Contracts in

brief filed on behalf of the plaintiffs in the New York Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, Hurrell-Harring v. New York, against New York State, alleging systemic, statewide violations of the right to counsel. He drafted the law professors’ statement of interest for the brief and collected signatories from faculty members across the state. He served as a moderator at the Department of Justice National Symposium on Indigent Defense, “Looking Back, Looking Forward, 2000–2010,” in Washington, D.C. Zeidman was also selected, with ANDREA MCARDLE and JOE ROSENBERG, to participate in and present at the Experiential Renaissance Roundtable, “Challenges in Constructing and Reconstructing Experiential Education Programs,” at the University of Minnesota Law School in April. ••

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