Professor Susan Hazeldean Receives Tenure


Professor Susan Hazeldean, founder and director of the Brooklyn Law School LGBT Advocacy Clinic, was recently granted tenure.

Hazeldean’s teaching, scholarship, and law practice focus on gender, sexual orientation, immigration, and civil rights. In 2020, she received the inaugural LGBTQ+ Inclusive Excellence Award from the Association of American Law Schools’ Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues Section. Her writing has appeared in the Cornell Law Review, UC Davis Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, Benders Immigration Review, and the American Bar Association Human Rights Magazine.

“I am so honored and excited to make Brooklyn Law School my permanent professional home, and continue the fight for LGBTQ equality in my scholarship and by providing legal services through the LGBTQ Clinic,” said Hazeldean. “The Law School is a fantastic community in every respect. My faculty colleagues are leading scholars at the top of their fields and our staff are second to none. But what makes me most excited to come to work is interacting with our diverse, energetic, and inspiring students. I feel so blessed to be a part of their learning journey.”

Under her direction, students in the LGBT Advocacy Clinic represent clients who face discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The clinic has achieved significant and historic victories, including a $100,000 settlement for a transgender woman who was raped by an inmate in a New York state prison after corrections officers failed to take reasonable steps to protect her from sexual assault. Clinic students also took on pioneering cases on behalf of LGBTQ parents seeking court orders affirming their parentage in New York state.

The clinic also engages in advocacy work and sponsors events and seminars that approach LGBTQA+ issues at the intersection of legal practice and policy. In 2021, the clinic joined with other activist organizations to support the Gender Recognition Act in New York state. The proposed law removes many of the barriers faced by transgender, nonbinary, and intersex New Yorkers in obtaining and updating accurate birth certificates, marriage certificates, driver’s licenses, and court-ordered name changes.

Previously, Hazeldean taught at Cornell Law School, where she directed the LGBT clinic. She has also taught at Yale Law School, where she served as a Robert M. Cover Fellow in the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. At Yale, she supervised students who represented immigrants and low-wage workers in civil rights actions and engaged in policy work and community-based advocacy.

Before her academic career, Hazeldean directed the Peter Cicchino Youth Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York, providing free legal representation to homeless and at-risk LGBT youth in matters related to immigration, foster care, public benefits, and family law.

Hazeldean talks about her work and the LGBT Advocacy Clinic (YouTube)