The Real World of Law Practice

Clinical Faculty

Our full-time clinical faculty are scholar-practitioners with a wide range of specialties including employment law, immigration law, telecommunications and mortgage finance. They combine teaching and supervision of clinical students with writing and lecturing.

Our adjunct faculty, drawn from the New York legal community, are experienced lawyers and supervisors in a wide range of law offices, agencies and judicial chambers. Although working full-time at their respective jobs, they are dedicated to the education of our students.

  • Jonathan Askin, is the Founding Director of the Brooklyn Law Incubator Project (BLIP), which functions like a law firm, and represents Internet, new media, communications and other tech entrepreneurs and innovators. He has 15 years of experience in the communications industry in both the public and private sectors. Askin has provided legal and policy counsel and strategic advice for companies that build and develop networks and Internet applications. A sought-after expert in the field of Internet law, he played a key role in the tech task force of President Barack Obama’s election campaign.
  • Natalie Chin joined the Law School this Fall as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Law and Faculty Director of the new AAIDD clinic, which will provide legal services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She was most recently a Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Guardianship Clinic at Cardozo School of Law, where she taught a seminar on Article 81 Guardianship law and its intersection with housing rights, public benefits, and disability rights and supervised law students representing clients in all aspects of guardianship and related proceedings in state and federal court.

    Prior to her teaching career, Professor Chin was a devoted public interest attorney.

  • Jodi S. Balsam directs the Law School’s Civil Externship Programs, and also teaches the Civil Externship Seminar. She has also taught lawyering skills and sports law courses, building on her 20 years of experience as a litigator and in-house counsel at the National Football League.

  • Debra Bechtel, one of New York’s foremost experts in low-income or limited equity co-ops, has directed the Corporate and Real Estate Clinic since 1997. She has over 20 years of experience in the areas of real estate law and community development.
  • Stacy Caplow is the director of the Law School’s Clinical Education Program and co-director of the Safe Harbor Project. A leader in the field of clinical legal education, she has worked abroad to help augment the clinical curriculum for LLB and LLM students at the University College Cork Faculty of Law, and with a refugee center in Cork. Caplow also spent a semester at the University of Hong Kong helping to establish its first legal clinic.
  • Edward De Barbieri joins the faculty this academic year as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Law and will work with the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE) and co-teach the Community Development Clinic and the Corporate/Real Estate Clinic. He previously served as the Senior Staff Attorney for the Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project, where he advised nonprofit organizations, provided legal assistance to low-income workers, tenants, and homeowners in foreclosure. Professor De Barbieri joined Urban Justice Center in 2008 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. He was a Fulbright Research Fellow at the University College Cork, Ireland from 2007-2008. While at Brooklyn Law School he was an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellow.

  • Minna Kotkin has extensive litigation experience handling a range of civil rights law reform and class action suits. She served as Litigation Director for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest for many years, and has taught several different clinics at the Law School over the past two decades. She currently teaches the Employment Law Clinic.
  • Michael Higgins joined Brooklyn Law School in fall 2014 as a staff attorney for the new Advocates for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Clinic, which will provide legal services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He was most recently a staff attorney in the General Practices Unit of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, Yonkers, N.Y, where he represented clients primarily in the areas of housing and public benefits. He also served as a staff attorney in the Disabilities Unit, where he represented individuals with disabilities in a general practice.

  • Karen Porter is the executive director of Brooklyn Law School’s Center for Health, Science, and Public Policy, and she teaches the Health Law Clinic. She has taught courses at Washington University Law School on law and medicine, and AIDS and the law, and is the author of numerous publications related to AIDS policy.
  • David Reiss directs Brooklyn Law School’s Community Development Clinic and teaches real estate finance and property law. His prior experience includes practicing law in several firms’ real estate and land use departments; Reiss also serves on several local community boards.
  • Lisa Smith teaches the Prosecutors Clinic and is an expert in the area of domestic violence. She served for many years as the Executive Assistant District Attorney for Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes and Child Abuse in the Kings County District.
  • Dan Smulian co-teaches the Safe Harbor Clinic and has a strong background in public interest legal work. A former director of training and legal services at the New York Immigration Coalition, he managed a statewide program that provides seminars and educational events on immigration law and immigrants’ rights issues for immigrant communities.
  • Marjorie S. White joins the faculty as an Associate Professor of Clinical Law, to work with the Brooklyn Law School Incubator and Policy Clinic (BLIP) and the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE). Professor White has extensive experience in private practice, including both at law firms as well as in executive in-house positions. She spent much of her career in the corporate department of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she focused on mergers and acquisitions, securities work and private equity transactions. She was also a partner in the corporate department of Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen. Professor White served as Vice President and Corporate Secretary of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the global investment bank, where she was responsible for worldwide corporate governance as well as related public company work. She was also the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of a boutique investment advisory firm, where she oversaw legal and compliance matters.


Experience Prof. David Reiss’s Community Development Clinic.

View video about the Clinical Education Program.

Have questions? We have answers.

Clinical Education Program Office
One Boerum Place, 3rd Floor
Telephone: (718) 780-7994
Fax: (718) 780-0367

Mailing Address:
Brooklyn Law School
Clinic Office
250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201