Karen Porter

Associate Professor of Clinical Law

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-7559 |  Email
Areas of Expertise

AIDS Policy
Law and Medicine
Public Health Law

B.A., Yale College
M.S. New York University
J.D., Yale Law School

Clinic - Health Law Externship

This is an extern clinic in which students work in various public sector field placements that maintain a health law practice. The goal of the clinic is to offer students a practical opportunity to deepen their understanding of legal issues confronting health care organizations and other public and non-profit organizations whose mission include health care delivery, access to care, public health or broader public policy concerns. Students work under the close supervision of an attorney at the placement site. Each student is responsible for producing substantive work products. The nature of the work product will differ from site to site. At some field placements the work will be advisory, transactional or policy development in nature. Other placements may require direct client or constituent advocacy. No matter where they are placed, students should be prepared to do substantive research and writing. Students must devote a minimum of 12 hours per week to the placement.Students receive 3 credits for the field placement and 1 credit for a required seminar.

Enrollment Notes:

This clinic enrolls students in the spring only. The externship is graded P/F only. The seminar is letter grade only.

Clinic - Health Law Practicum


This clinic provides students with the opportunity to gain practice experience in health law. Students earn 3 credits working at a field placement in organizations and government agencies dealing with health care issues. Students must devote a minimum of 12 hours per week at the placement. Students receive an additional credit for participation in a required seminar. Students interested in the clinic should submit a clinic application, resume and transcript with a short cover letter expressing interest in particular placements to the clinic office. This will start the process of placement selection. Knowledge of health law is a plus, but not a requirement.

Enrollment notes:

There is a 1 credit seminar requirement


The practicum is P/F only. The seminar is letter grade only.

Public Health Law and Policy

The Public Health Law and Policy course will explore a range of health issues which lie at the intersection of the state, police powers, and individual rights prerogatives. Examples include the government's powers to impose quarantine or evacuation and to mandate vaccination and treatment; the extent to which public health agencies can or should regulate lifestyle behaviors such as diet; the friction between state authority and privacy of medical records; and the legal issues related to bioterrorism. Students will consider the differing roles played by federal and state government, and by the legislative, executive and judicial branches at each level.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Take-home exam.