Alumni of the Year Honoree
At the Annual Alumni Association Luncheon on January 30, 2015, Brooklyn Law School presented distinguished Alumni of the Year Awards to Lawrence I. Feldman '75 and Professor Robert M. Pitler '66. Rising Star Awards were presented to Coco Culhane '10 and Sparkle Sooknanan '10.
Alumni of the Year Awards:
Lawrence I. Feldman '74
Chief Executive Officer, Subway Development Corporations of Washington and South Florida
Lawrence I. Feldman, Class of 1974, is the Chief Executive Officer of Subway Development Corporations of Washington, D.C., and South Florida. He currently controls more than 1,250 franchises in his Northern development territory with an additional 300 restaurants in South Florida. Feldman is a founding member of, and advisor to, Brooklyn Law School's Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE). Read More.
Robert M. Pitler '66
Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
Professor Robert M. Pitler, Class of 1966, joined the Brooklyn Law School faculty in 1988. He is an expert in the areas of criminal law, procedure, and evidence. Professor Pitler's seminal article on the constitutionality of New York State's search and seizure procedures published in the Brooklyn Law Review is the authoritative source on the subject. He has served as the faculty advisor to the Moot Court Honor Society for more than 12 years and has overseen the annual Dean Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition, the premier appellate advocacy evidence competition in the nation, for more than 20 years. Read More.
Rising Star Awards:
Coco Culhane '10
Director, Veteran Advocacy Project at the Urban Justice Center
Coco Culhane, Class of 2010, is the founder and director of the Veteran Advocacy Project (VAP) at the Urban Justice Center, New York City's first comprehensive civil legal services program for low-income veterans. Culhane created VAP as part of the Urban Justice Center's Mental Health Project. Read More.
Sparkle L. Sooknanan '10
Associate, Jones Day
Sparkle L. Sooknanan, Class of 2010, is an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Jones Day in its Issues and Appeals Practice Group. During the 2013-14 term, she served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sooknanan is the first Brooklyn Law school graduate to achieve this honor. Read More.
Leon H. Charney, Class of 1964, is a lawyer, author, broadcaster, business leader and former advisor to President Jimmy Carter, Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin, and President Ezer Weizman of Israel, among other world and national leaders.
After working his way through Yeshiva University and Brooklyn Law School, Charney launched his own law firm, representing sports figures and show business personalities. At age 35, he was appointed to serve as Special Counsel to Senator Vance Hartke of Indiana. Over the course of the next four years, he established important relationships with world leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, who asked for his assistance in obtaining the freedom of Soviet Jewish dissidents. Charney’s involvement brought about the successful emigration of 1,000 Jews from the Soviet Union to Israel.
From 1976 to 1980, Charney served as an advisor to President Carter and was instrumental in the drafting and adoption of the Camp David Accords. President Carter has often referred to Charney as “the unsung hero of the Camp David Peace Treaty.” In 1986, at the behest of a high Israeli government official, Charney traveled secretly to Tunisia to meet with Yasser Arafat to encourage a dialogue between Palestinian authorities and the State of Israel.
Today, Charney is the CEO of the property firm L.H. Charney Associates, Inc., with major commercial real estate assets in Connecticut, Ohio, Florida, and New York, including several buildings in Times Square. In addition, for over 15 years he has moderated The Leon Charney Report, an award-winning nationally televised public affairs program.
He is the author of four books: Special Council (1984), Spy for Peace (1993), The Charney Report: Confronting the Arab-Israeli Conflict (2001), and The Mystery of the Kaddish (2001), now in its second printing. His fifth book, Jewish Guilt: Was Its Origin the Babylonian Talmud?, is due out later this year.
Charney is the recipient of many awards, among them four honorary doctorate degrees. He has been a participant in the Dean’s Roundtable Luncheon series for students at Brooklyn Law School.
John M. Leventhal, Class of 1979, is an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department. Prior to his appointment to the Appellate Division in 2008, he served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York for 14 years. Prior to that, he had a distinguished career in private practice.
From 1996 to 2008, Justice Leventhal presided over the nation’s first felony Domestic Violence Court, which has become a model that has been studied by judges and court administrators worldwide. The “DV Court” received a special commendation from the Northeast States Domestic Violence Registry Conference in 1997. He also presided over a guardianship part for alleged incapacitated persons from 2001 to 2008.
Justice Leventhal’s work has been recognized by many organizations. In 2008 alone, he received the Distinguished Achievement Medal from the New York State Free and Accepted Masons; the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association Beatrice M. Judge Recognition Award; the New York Board of Rabbis and Dayenu Voices of Valor “Elijah Award” for male leadership in ending domestic violence; and the National College of District Attorneys’ Stephen L. Von Riesen Lecturer of Merit Award for professional education of those working on behalf of domestic violence survivors. In 2005, he received a Special Commendation from the U.S. Department of Justice for his contribution to the prevention of violence against women and groundbreaking work on the role of judicial reviews of domestic violence offenders. His work has also been featured in the media, including a profile published in the New York Times.
Justice Leventhal is the author of 16 articles relating to criminal and civil law that have appeared in various publications, including the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law, the Utah Law Review, the New York Law Journal, the Jurist, and the Kings County Criminal Bar Journal. He has also written a book, Full Order of Protection, as yet unpublished. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the Barrister, the legal quarterly publication of the Brooklyn Bar Association, and he served as a Trustee of the Association from 1987 to 1994.
Justice Leventhal was a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Law School Alumni Association, serving from 1983 to 2004. He was Editor-in-Chief of Veritas, which was published by the Association from 1982 to 1984.
C. Glenn Schor, Class of 1972, is the Chief Operating Officer of the Treeline Companies, a premier full-service real estate ownership, development and investment firm based in Garden City, New York. Treeline is a family-owned and operated company. Schor is joined at Treeline by his wife Frances and two of his sons, Michael and Howard.
Treeline owns and manages over three million square feet of commercial real estate in the metropolitan area. The company has a strong commitment to the Brooklyn community and, as part of its portfolio, owns 600,000 square feet of prime office property in the Law School’s immediate environs.
Schor has long-standing relationships with major property owners and regional and national financial institutions. He has been actively involved in large capital improvement projects in the Treeline portfolio and oversees construction management and development for the firm.
With over 35 years of experience as a developer, investor, and attorney, Schor focuses on off-market transactions. His roots in Brooklyn and Long Island provide a distinct advantage in investing in those communities, where Treeline has demonstrated ongoing support for economic development.
Schor is actively involved in a variety of business, educational and philanthropic organizations, including the Real Estate Board of New York, the Building Owners and Managers Association, the Long Island Board of the Jewish National Fund, and the Brooklyn Law School Alumni Association. In addition, Schor was the Executive Vice President of Congregation Sons of Israel, a member of the Board of Directors of Temple Beth Sholom in Roslyn, the Chairperson of the Long Island Cabinet of the Jewish Theological Seminary, a member of the Rabbinic Board of Overseers of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a member of the Long Island Cabinet of State of Israel Bonds.
Schor has been married to Frances for more than 40 years and is the father of four sons, Michael, Howard, Jonathan and Daniel ’09; and two daughters-in-law, Rachel and Michelle. He is also the proud grandfather of Talia, Arielle, and Noah.