Alumni of the Year Honoree
At the Annual Alumni Association Luncheon on January 30, 2015, Brooklyn Law School presented distinguished Alumni of the Year Awards to Lawrence I. Feldman '75 and Professor Robert M. Pitler '66. Rising Star Awards were presented to Coco Culhane '10 and Sparkle Sooknanan '10.
Alumni of the Year Awards:
Lawrence I. Feldman '74
Chief Executive Officer, Subway Development Corporations of Washington and South Florida
Lawrence I. Feldman, Class of 1974, is the Chief Executive Officer of Subway Development Corporations of Washington, D.C., and South Florida. He currently controls more than 1,250 franchises in his Northern development territory with an additional 300 restaurants in South Florida. Feldman is a founding member of, and advisor to, Brooklyn Law School's Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE). Read More.
Robert M. Pitler '66
Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
Professor Robert M. Pitler, Class of 1966, joined the Brooklyn Law School faculty in 1988. He is an expert in the areas of criminal law, procedure, and evidence. Professor Pitler's seminal article on the constitutionality of New York State's search and seizure procedures published in the Brooklyn Law Review is the authoritative source on the subject. He has served as the faculty advisor to the Moot Court Honor Society for more than 12 years and has overseen the annual Dean Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition, the premier appellate advocacy evidence competition in the nation, for more than 20 years. Read More.
Rising Star Awards:
Coco Culhane '10
Director, Veteran Advocacy Project at the Urban Justice Center
Coco Culhane, Class of 2010, is the founder and director of the Veteran Advocacy Project (VAP) at the Urban Justice Center, New York City's first comprehensive civil legal services program for low-income veterans. Culhane created VAP as part of the Urban Justice Center's Mental Health Project. Read More.
Sparkle L. Sooknanan '10
Associate, Jones Day
Sparkle L. Sooknanan, Class of 2010, is an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Jones Day in its Issues and Appeals Practice Group. During the 2013-14 term, she served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sooknanan is the first Brooklyn Law school graduate to achieve this honor. Read More.
Anne J. Swern, Class of 1980, is a prosecutor who has had an extraordinary career in 27 years of public service. As First Assistant District Attorney to the District Attorney of Kings County (Brooklyn), she supervises more than 1,000 attorneys and support staff members in their prosecutorial and administrative functions.
Swern heads the acclaimed Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison (DTAP) Program - the first its kind in the country - which is dedicated to diverting non-violent felony offenders into residential drug treatment. She is also the senior executive in charge of three substance abuse treatment courts, as well as the Red Hook Community Justice Center and the Mental Health Court. As the DA’s executive in charge of mental health issues in the criminal justice system, she supervises the Treatment Alternatives for the Dually Diagnosed Program, which diverts mentally ill defendants into treatment.
While serving on the New York State Commission on Drugs and the Courts, Swern assisted in the preparation of a report to the Chief Judge in 1999, titled “Confronting the Cycle of Addiction and Recidivism.” She was selected as the 1999 Humanitarian of the Year by the Education and Assistance Corporation and as the 2000 Prosecutor of the Year by the Kings County Criminal Bar Association. She also received the 2006 Thomas E. Dewey Medal from the New York City Bar.
A board member of the National District Attorneys Association, she serves on the Judiciary Committee of the Brooklyn Bar Association and the Prosecution Function Committee of the American Bar Association. She is also co-chair of the Diversion Committee of the Criminal Justice Section of the ABA.
Since 1987, Swern has taught various courses as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School. She has also lectured at the New York State Judicial Institute, Fordham University, Columbia University and New York University law schools and the University of London. Swern and her husband, Steven Brounstein, a criminal defense attorney, have two children and live in Brooklyn.
Barry Salzberg, a member of the Class of 1977, is chief executive officer of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, one of the nation’s leading professional services organizations providing audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services.
Joining the firm after graduation, he was admitted as partner in 1985 and went on to build an impressive record through a variety of leadership roles. In 2000, he assumed full leadership of the Deloitte Tax LLP practice, which included regional responsibility for the Americas tax practice. He then served as the managing partner of the Deloitte U.S. Firms. In June 2007, he became CEO. He also serves as a member of the Deloitte U.S. Firms’ board of directors, the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Global Executive Committee, and the DTT global board of directors.
Salzberg is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the New York County Lawyers Association. He is also a board member of several business organizations, including the Center for Audit Quality, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, and the Partnership for New York.
Additionally, he is an advisor to the G100, a group of CEOs of the world’s largest companies, and a member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Known in the marketplace for his commitment to building opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders and fostering diversity within the workplace, Salzberg serves as a board member of Vanderbilt University Owen School of Management, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, College Summit, and the Johnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute at Bennett College for Women. He is also the chair of the Capital Steering Committee for the YMCA of Greater New York.
With his wife, he established the Evelyn and Barry Salzberg Scholarship at Brooklyn Law School and was a speaker at a Dean’s Roundtable Luncheon at the Law School. He received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Brooklyn College, and his LL.M. in taxation from the New York University School of Law.
Stephen J. Dannhauser, Class of 1975, has served as the chief executive of international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP since 1989, crafting and executing many of the business strategies that have led the firm to global prominence.
He has been an advisor to the senior management of many public and private companies and has played a leading counseling and crisis management role in major corporate restructurings. Recognized for many years as a leading practitioner, he has broad experience in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and finance, including securities offerings, syndications, and other partnership transactions.
Dannhauser has long participated in a variety of civic, business, and philanthropic causes and organizations. He is president, CEO, and board member of the New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund and holds board positions in several other organizations, including chairman of Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc. He also worked closely with New York City officials to support victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks and continues to support the victims today through fund raising and civic leadership.
In recognition of his philanthropic, civic, and professional accomplishments, Dannhauser has received many awards, including the New York State Bar Association’s Root-Stimson Award; Citizens for NYC’s New Yorker for New York Award; the Inner-City Scholarship Fund award; Legal Momentum’s Champion for Diversity Equal Opportunity award; the YWCA of the City of New York Man of the Year award; New York City Police Department Bomb Squad Centennial Award; National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations Ellis Island Medal of Honor; Founder’s Award, Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc.; Chairman’s Award of The National Minority Business Council; among others.
He graduated with honors from both the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Brooklyn Law School, where he was an editor of the Brooklyn Law Review. He has spoken about his career at one of the Law School’s Dean’s Roundtable Luncheons. Dannhauser and his wife, Beth, have three sons: Todd, who is a Brooklyn Law School alumnus of the Class of 2002, Benjamin and Jess.