Experienced and Passionate
The Law School’s faculty brings a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to public service law. Among our faculty in this area are professors who have served at some of the busiest prosecutors’ offices and defense organizations, at leading nonprofit and advocacy organizations around the world, and held important positions in government. They are experts on issues such as the death penalty, children’s rights, refugees and asylum, art law and intellectual property, international human rights, employment law, public sector real estate issues, campaign finance, gender law, and civil rights.
Danielle Sorken, Director of the Public Service Office spearheads the Law School’s efforts to assist students interested in a career in public interest or government service. She develops programmatic events and offers counseling to students applying for internships and/or jobs.
Ursula Bentele is a nationally recognized expert on death penalty issues. She has argued numerous death penalty appeals and is the author of Capital Case Sentencing: How to Protect Your Client. She was the recipient of the New York City Bar’s Thurgood Marshall Award, given to outstanding attorneys who have represented those sentenced to death. Bentele directs the Capital Defender and Federal Habeas Clinic.
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.
Cynthia Godsoe is an expert in children’s rights and juvenile justice issues. Before joining the faculty, she was an appellate attorney with the Children's Law Center in New York City. Godsoe also held several staff attorney positions with nonprofit legal organizations dedicated to children's rights. After law school, she was a Skadden Public Interest Fellow. Godsoe currently chairs the Juvenile Justice Committee of the New York City Bar.
Joel Gora is a long-standing advocate for civil liberties and has been involved in numerous cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts dealing with free speech and other civil liberties issues. Since 1981, he has served as General Counsel for the New York Civil Liberties Union and is a member of its board. Gora's expertise lies in the area of First Amendment rights, and he has written and lectured on campaign finance issues for more than 25 years. He is a frequent participant in programs that address public policy concerns in campaign finance reform.
Susan N. Herman is a nationally-recognized expert on the U.S. Supreme Court and constitutional law. She is the president of the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization she has worked with for over 25 years. As a constitutional law specialist, Herman has written books and numerous articles on civil liberties issues, including the due process rights of prisoners, the Patriot Act, the Fourth Amendment, socioeconomic rights and equality, and the First Amendment. She is a regular commentator in the media.
Beryl Jones-Woodin specializes in copyright law, art law, and professional responsibility. She is the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and was instrumental in establishing the International Human Rights Fellowship. She is on the board of directors of the Westchester Children’s Museum.
Samuel Murumba teaches and writes in the fields of international human rights and intellectual property. A refugee who fled the regime of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, he continues his lifelong commitment to human rights. Murumba was recently honored by Human Rights Watch for his decades of service to the organization, including as a board member and advisor to the Women’s Rights Division and the Africa Division. He is an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda and of its subordinate courts.
Robert Pitler, an expert on criminal law and procedure, had a successful career in public service before joining the faculty. He was Counsel to the New York County District Attorney and Chief of the Office’s Investigations Division and Chief of the Appeals Bureau. He currently serves as chair of the New York State Law Revision Commission.
David Reiss' scholarship concentrates on real estate finance issues. In particular, he is noted for his research on the subprime secondary mortgage markets. Reiss directs the Community Development Clinic, which represents development corporations, cultural institutions, affordable housing providers, and small businesses that serve under-represented communities. He serves on the boards of several local organizations.
Elizabeth Schneider is the director of the Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship Program. She is a national expert in the fields of federal civil litigation, procedure, gender law, and domestic violence. The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence honored Schneider as one of 30 leaders making a difference in the lives of survivors of domestic violence. She served as a consultant for the Secretary-General’s Report on All Forms of Violence Against Women, which was submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations.