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Professor Emeritus Arthur Pinto Makes Major Gift to Launch Diversity Initiative

02/18/2020

Brooklyn Law School announced the launch of the Professor Arthur Pinto and Stephen Bohlen Diversity Initiative, supported by a gift commitment of more than $1 million by Brooklyn Law School Professor Emeritus Arthur Pinto.

The Diversity Initiative, named for Pinto and his husband, Stephen Bohlen, a retired health care executive, will provide critical support for the Law School’s core commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of its community: students, applicants, faculty, staff, alumni, and others, around the globe. It will support all aspects of the diversity and inclusion objectives advanced by Dean Michael T. Cahill, the Board of Trustees, faculty, administrators, and staff. 

“We are truly grateful for this generous gift that will have a significant impact on the Brooklyn Law School community for years to come,” said Cahill. “It will facilitate the Law School’s efforts to enhance the diversity of the legal profession, in New York City and beyond.”

“After teaching here for 34 years, Brooklyn Law School felt like my home, and my colleagues like family, so I am pleased to leave my mark in this way,” Pinto said. “It is my belief that an environment with diversity is a better environment, and it is my hope that the Law School continues to pursue the goals of inclusion and diversity.”

Activities undertaken through the initiative will include:

  • Developing pipeline programs to promote a broad and diverse applicant pool, both for Brooklyn Law School and for law schools generally;
  • Engaging in outreach that will encourage admitted applicants to enroll; 
  • Supporting the comprehensive student experience—academic, social, professional, and financial—for members of underrepresented minorities, at the individual and group level; 
  • Creating scholarships and fellowships to support students who confront disadvantage or discrimination, as well as research and clinical work focusing on minority or otherwise disadvantaged populations; 
  • Working to ensure that faculty and staff hiring and advancement opportunities welcome, and provide equal opportunity for, all persons; and 
  • Pursuing employment partnerships and opportunities that will benefit graduates while diversifying the world of legal practice.

Pinto will also continue to support the Arthur Pinto Public Service Fellowship for LGBTQ Rights, created in 2017 and awarded annually to a student for work that supports LGBTQ rights law or represents LGBTQ individuals. At the Law School, Pinto was the co-director of The Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law; faculty advisor for OUTLaws, the student organization that serves the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and straight allies within the Law School community; and director of the foreign summer study programs.

Professor Karen Porter to Lead New Inclusion and Diversity Initiative

Professor Karen Porter, a longtime member of the Brooklyn Law School faculty, has been named the inaugural Arthur Pinto & Stephen Bohlen Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity. In this role, supported by a major gift from Professor Emeritus Arthur Pinto, she will oversee and coordinate the Law School’s efforts to ensure a diverse and inclusive environment.

“I am honored to hold this position in Professor Pinto’s name,” said Porter. “Having these resources provides a real opportunity to do significant work with the Law School community. My goal with this role is to work to change the narrative, not just for those traditionally underserved, but for the broader group of individuals who have felt disadvantaged, to feel they are being well-served and can succeed.”

“I look forward to working with Karen in this new capacity,” said Dean Michael T. Cahill. “I am confident that she will, as ever, serve the school and our students with skill and devotion.”

Porter will continue to teach and lead Brooklyn Law School’s initiatives in health law. She is the executive director of the Law School’s Center for Health, Science, & Public Policy and supervises the Center’s fellowship program, as well as the Health Law externship and practicum programs and the Health Law Clinic.

Porter joined the Law School in 2002. Prior to teaching, she held a post-doctoral fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center/The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine. Her background also includes work as a senior policy analyst and staff counsel to the National Commission on AIDS. She has taught courses at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law on law and medicine, and AIDS and the law, and she has authored numerous publications related to AIDS policy.