Joe Porcelli ’78 knew his celebrity status was cemented when retired Major League Baseball player Dusty Baker asked to meet him one evening when he was dining at New York City steak house Maloney & Porcelli, the restaurant named after Porcelli’s law firm.
While attending Brooklyn Law School, Porcelli worked at a firm that represented restaurants and was offered a position there after graduation. In 1983 the firm became Maloney & Porcelli. So how did his law firm wind up as the name of a midtown Manhattan restaurant that is still going strong?
“In 1995, Smith & Wollensky founder Alan Stillman wanted to start a second brand, and he asked our permission to use our name,” he said.
Porcelli has been a “Brooklyn guy” his whole life, and Brooklyn Law School has remained near and dear to his heart. Neither of his parents attended high school, and the Law School gave him the opportunity to move “four steps beyond” his childhood.
“We didn’t know any lawyers, and we didn’t have any legal background,” he said.
While serving as president of the SBA, Porcelli was honored by the Italian American Law Students Association. After graduation, he served as a junior member of the Alumni Association. His generosity to the school grew over the years, and recently, he decided to put in a bequest to the Law School in his will. “Forty years ago, I received $2,000 in grants-in-aid to attend Brooklyn Law School, and when I thanked Assistant Dean Gerard A. Gilbride for the assistance, he said, ‘We don’t think of it as grants-in-aid, we think of it as a moral obligation loan.’ I thought of that when I put together my estate plan.”
Giving Back and Doing Good
Miriam R. Adelman ’66 has also made a future commitment by naming Brooklyn Law School as a beneficiary of her estate. She is proud of her education and the opportunities it allowed, remembering how difficult it was as a woman attending law school in the 1960s. “As a trusts and estates lawyer, I have seen firsthand the impact a planned gift can make on an institution, as well as on the donor while they are living, knowing they are supporting a cause they love. I am very fond of Brooklyn Law School, and I felt it was important for me to give back in this way.”
There are a number of options for planned gifts to the Law School, including gifts by will and living trusts; life-income gifts; and real estate, insurance, and retirement assets. Most alternatives offer tax benefits, and some provide the donor with a source of income. Donors who make planned gifts become members of the Legacy Society.
“Planned gifts are vital to the Law School, helping to build scholarship endowment, fund special programs, and advance the mission and values of the school,” said Sean Moriarty, chief advancement officer at Brooklyn Law School. “All gifts have lasting impact on students.”