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.

Clinic - Health Law Pract & Policy Ext.

Health Law Practice and Policy Externship This clinic provides students with the opportunity to gain practice experience in health law. Students earn a total of 4 credits (3 credits working at a field placement and 1 credit for participation in a required seminar. Knowledge of health law is a plus but is not a requirement.


The Externship 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.