The Impact of Gifts

The Impact of Gifts

Your generosity has a direct impact on students, faculty, and the entire BLS community. Your loyalty and commitment not only funds scholarships and financial assistance, but enables BLS to provide the resources students need to strengthen their credentials and give them an edge in today’s competitive job market. Every gift, no matter the size, contributes to the continued success of critical institutional elements, including the library, career services, and student organizations.

  • Brooklyn Law School - Joel Glaser '01Joel A. Glaser, a 2001 graduate of Brooklyn Law School, is a Senior Partner at the esteemed law firm, Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman, P.C. A successful trial attorney, he engages in a wide variety of trials including automobile casualties, construction accidents, medical malpractice and negligence cases. Having amassed a successful record of verdicts and settlements, he is an excellent example of the many outstanding alumni that the Law School is known for.

    In addition to his professional success, Mr. Glaser is a generous donor to Brooklyn Law School: “Giving back to BLS is a very personal matter. My father, and mentor, is a graduate of the class of 1960. Giving back honors him and his great admiration for the institution that set him on course to a marvelously rewarding career. It is no coincidence that a founding member of one of New York’s preeminent personal injury law firms is an alumnus. As an underprivileged kid from the Bronx, when many opportunities were foreclosed to him, Brooklyn Law School provided him with a great legal education for a great value. I have always remained cognizant of where my legal roots sprouted from. Today, he continues to honor the legacy of his legal education by being a proud member of the 1901 Society. Giving back is just one more way to say thank you to my father and BLS.”

    “I was far from a lawyer before entering BLS,” says Mr. Glaser. “By graduation time, I was ready to support the challenges of the profession. I picked a jury and tried my first case just a few short months after passing the BAR exam. That would never have happened absent my experience at BLS.”

    Mr. Glaser’s gift will especially support the Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA), a BLS organization that is dedicated to serving Brooklyn Law students, alumni, and the community at large by fostering and maintaining a community for Latino legal professionals.

    “I wanted my gift to benefit Hispanic students,” explains Mr. Glaser. “The Hispanic community has, time and again, expressed their confidence in my and my firm’s ability to protect their rights and preserve their access to the Court system. I hope that this gift enables law students to further their life’s aspirations.”

    Mr. Glaser’s advice to current Brooklyn Law School students? “Approach your time at BLS with an eye toward future practice. Prepare yourself to move from laboratory to the real world. Take a trial advocacy course, participate in a mock trial, and enroll in discovery workshop. Take advantage of every practical option possible.”

    His favorite memories at Brooklyn Law School revolve around a class taught by beloved professor Joe Crea: “Where else can you hear nuggets of wisdom such as, a corporation is a dictatorship!”

    “But more than favorite memories,” he adds, “I would say that being at BLS was my favorite time. I really enjoyed being with other students in such a collegial atmosphere.”
    Robert Raghunath '16 is a current student at Brooklyn Law School and a member of LALSA.

    “Personally, LALSA has connected me with a community of empowered Hispanic American students, not only within Brooklyn Law School, but also throughout all law school's in the New York City area,” says Raghunath. “I am grateful that the organization provides students with career-building experiences at networking events, and opportunities to hone my legal skills through pro-bono projects, seminars, and moot court competitions.”

  • Brooklyn Law SchoolBrooklyn Law School is one of the only institutions in the New York metropolitan area to enable students to earn a J.D. in 2 years, and the only law school in the area to offer a range of flexible 2-, 2.5-, 3-, 3.5-, or 4-year options to adapt to all prospective students’ needs.

    Sebastian Asaro ’18 writes: “Brooklyn Law has (allowed me to) attend classes while still continuing my career as a Federal Contracting Officer. This program … has allowed me to have the best of both worlds: achieving my current career goals while better positioning myself for [my] goal in the future… (of) providing legal advice to ensure that taxpayer money is being utilized in a proper manner.”

    To help students achieve their career goals, BLS also co-sponsors joint-degree programs with other prominent New York City institutions. The joint degree programs allow students to pursue their J.D. while simultaneously earning a Master’s Degree. (Click here to learn more about specific the specific joint-degree programs that BLS offers.)

    Jordan Zimolka ’16 describes: “The joint degree program with Pratt Institute's City and Regional Planning department is a rare find in that both schools teach through real world experience.”

  • image of flyerThe Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship Program, named in honor of the late Edward V. Sparer ’59, prepares lawyers for careers in social justice. In addition to completing an internship with a public interest organization, fellows are mentored by   faculty experts and leading professionals, including distinguished alumni fellows working in public interest law.

    Sparer Fellow Caitrin Coccoma ’16 describes how BLS’s commitment to public interest attracted her to the Law School: “I knew I wanted to learn in an environment that was dedicated to the public interest but would also teach me what it meant to be a practicing lawyer. I chose to attend Brooklyn Law School because public interest work and practical skills building was at the forefront of the school’s mission.”

    Through the fellowship, Amanda Shapiro ‘15 worked at AEquitas, a non-profit in Washington, D.C., dedicated to improving laws addressing violence against women through partnerships with prosecutors, legislators, and other practitioners. She recounts how this experience “allowed (her) to focus on exactly what (she’s) hoped (for) in law school – using the law as a tool for social change.”

    Lillian Smith ’16, also a Sparer Fellow, says “I knew I wanted to (be in New York City) for law school, and I knew I wanted to attend a school with a robust public interest program, in addition to a well-rounded reputation…BLS has a fantastic reputation in New York in a multitude of fields, so I knew I would have better career opportunities after graduation.”

    Many BLS Sparer alumni hold leadership positions in public interest organizations and government agencies around the country, while many of those who work in private practice support public interest through a significant amount of pro bono work.

  • Brooklyn Law School - Moot CourtRobert Brownstone ’86, one of BLS’s most celebrated alumni, has been involved with the Law School for over 30 years. Giving to BLS every year since his graduation, he has served as an Alumni Admissions Access Program member for over a decade and as an Adjunct Professor. Beginning in early 2014, each January he travels from his day job at Silicon Valley’s Fenwick & West LLP to teach an intersession course in Electronic Discovery Law & Process. Recently, Mr. Brownstone has generously dedicated a seat to the Moot Court Honor Society in honor of his mother, Anne Diamond Brownstone (1923-2011).

    In multiple eras, Ms. Diamond/Brownstone was a stage, TV, and radio actress who performed with the likes of Robert Redford, Jimmy Stewart, and John Wayne. Mr. Brownstone notes that “In between the two acting periods of her life, my mother rose to the real-life challenge of being a widow who raised three of us in Manhattan in the ‘70’s and 80’s on a shoestring – an office worker’s salary. She even offered to pay for part of my BLS education," he continues.  "But, when BLS gave me a grant for 50% of the tuition, I told her I'd be able to put myself through while living on my own in Brooklyn."

    Mr. Brownstone credits BLS with providing an excellent foundation for his career, which includes teaching at several law schools.  "My mom was a fervent believer in the power of education." he says. "She was thrilled whenever I raved to her about the teaching prowess of my professors.  As a once and future actress, my mom admired people who had 'energy.'"  Mr. Brownstone adds, "So, it was a no-brainer to characterize her as 'an energetic mother' on the plaque now honoring her at my alma mater."

    He picked Seat #86 as a shout-out to his '86 classmates.

    Andrew J. Smiley ’96, another distinguished BLS alum, is a partner at Smiley & Smiley, LLP whose areas of expertise include personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death. He has generously established the Smiley & Smiley LLP Award for Excellence in Trial Skills, a contribution which will greatly support BLS and the Moot Court Honor Society.

    Andrew J. Smiley ’96, another distinguished BLS alum, is a partner at Smiley & Smiley, LLP whose areas of expertise include personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death. He has generously established the Smiley & Smiley LLP Award for Excellence in Trial Skills, a contribution which will greatly support BLS and the Moot Court Honor Society.

    “My involvement in the Moot Court Honor Society, as the Vice President and coach of the National Trial Teams, was the most memorable and rewarding experience during my time at Brooklyn Law School. It is truly an honor for me to establish the Smiley & Smiley LLP Award for Excellence in Trial Skills in acknowledgement of those students who continue to demonstrate a passion for learning what it takes to excel in the classroom. I look forward to meeting with the exceptional students who receive this honor upon graduation for many years to come. I am proud that my law firm, through this honor, will have a permanent connection with Brooklyn Law School, a school widely recognized for producing the best trial attorneys in New York.”

    Every year, BLS’s Moot Court Honor Society provides students in the Trial Advocacy Division and the Appellate Advocacy Division with the opportunity to participate in over 30 competitions. Competitions are held across the United States and overseas and incorporate all areas of the law. Throughout the year, students enhance their oral advocacy and writing skills by preparing for and participating in mock trials. The Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Scholarship is held annually at Brooklyn Law School, attracting over 30 law school teams from across the country.

    Supporting the Moot Court Honor Society provides alumni with the opportunity to have a direct impact on current BLS students. Along with faculty, alumni help teams prepare for competitions by critiquing their arguments and supporting them in developing issues for legal research and written and oral advocacy. (Alumni can also participate by serving as judges or dedicating a seat to the BLS Moot Court Honor Society.) Dedicating a seat allows graduates to become part of the legacy of the Jerome Prince Moot Court Room, whether it’s commemorating their own experience or honoring their loved one. To reserve your seat, simply complete the order form or call the Development Department at (718) 780-7505.

  • Immediate impact scholarships, or prizes, provide current-use funds to recruit deserving students to Brooklyn Law School - students who are capable of and committed to making a difference in their professions and communities. Named for the donors who have generously funded them, these scholarships provide exceptional distinction to recipients throughout their legal careers. Moreover, they provide BLS the resources needed to ensure a strong incoming class, thereby providing an immediate impact to both student recipients and the Law School. Read more.

  • BLS has always been a school of opportunity. It is committed to supporting students with the ability, and the desire, to make a difference in their professions and communities, regardless of their financial means. Endowed scholarships provide crucial support for these students, while also serving as a powerful example of the ongoing commitment of the donors who make them possible — some of whom are BLS alumni who themselves received financial assistance as students. The Endowed Scholars Celebration is an annual event at which we honor both the donors who have created scholarships and the students who have received them. It is an opportunity for them to meet, share experiences with each other, and forge lasting bonds. Read more.

  • October 14, 2014 – Brooklyn Law School (“BLS”) announced a new innovative clinical program addressing the legal needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities – a vastly underserved population – and their families...Read More

  • Our graduates are making gifts that fuel innovation and pioneer change through the creation of new centers and the development of ground-breaking programming which help attract students and raise the profile of the Law School...Read More

  • The Law School’s Team Challenge was created to encourage alumni at law firms and companies to reconnect with their alma mater. Within each firm or company, volunteer Team Captains take the lead in inspiring their BLS colleagues to join together to meet the 100% Team Challenge: a gift of any amount made to BLS during the fiscal year 2014-2015 counts toward participation. By participating in the Challenge, alumni help raise essential funds, increase overall alumni giving participation, strengthen the BLS network, and enhance the profile or their law firm or company...Read More

  • The impetus for the creation of the Director’s Council, a group of dedicated recent graduates from the last 10 years who make annual gifts, comes from a genuine sentiment that these alumni can make a real impact on the Law School’s next chapter. The Council creates an exclusive opportunity for graduates of the last decade to network, socialize, and build relationships with other BLS leaders, and it helps to develop Brooklyn Law School’s future leaders...Read More

  • One of Dean Allard’s initiatives early on was to involve graduates, no matter how recent, in the business of giving. He created the Dean’s Annual Giving Challenge for members of each graduating class to join together for a fundraising campaign to give back to the Law School community and leave their mark as a class. All contributions go to the Annual Fund, which supports scholarships for students and helps the Law School attract talented faculty, advance its academic programs, and maintain its competitive advantage among the country’s top law schools...Read More

  • This year marked the beginning of exciting new changes to the 1901 Society, an influential group of alumni and friends of Brooklyn Law School from a wide range of backgrounds and careers in private practice, government, business, and industry who have made an ongoing commitment to support the Law School (1901 Society members donate $5,000 per year; Associates, who are recent graduates from the last ten years, donate $1,000 per year).  The Law School has refocused the 1901 Society so that members now have the opportunity to invest in the school in a more meaningful way and can play a more active role in shaping the future of BLS...Read More

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“Brooklyn Law was especially appealing because of...its well renowned alumni network...”

- Alexander Tiktin '16