Brooklyn Law School has announced three outstanding additions to its Board of Trustees: The Honorable Claire R. Kelly ’93, U.S. Court of International Trade; Debra Humphreys ’84, Founder and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School; and Manuel H. Quintana, Founder and President, Bravo! Bravo! Sports Management and Marketing Inc.
“The involvement of these accomplished leaders will be invaluable,” said Stuart Subotnick, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Each brings a wealth of intellect, enthusiasm, and vision, all key attributes as Brooklyn Law School pushes forward with new innovations. We look forward to working with them for years to come.”
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Hon. Claire Kelly ’93 was appointed a Judge of the United States Court of International Trade in May 2013. Before joining the bench, Judge Kelly was a member of the Brooklyn Law School faculty for over 15 years. She focused her scholarship on administrative law and international trade law, teaching courses in international trade law, international business law, and administrative law.
At BLS, she served as co-director of the Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law and as the faculty advisor for the Brooklyn Journal of International Law. She was also instrumental in creating fellowships for the Law School’s Trade Secrets Institute, which she co-founded. Prior to entering academia, Judge Kelly was an associate at Coudert Brothers LLP where she advised companies on governmental compliance and litigated a broad variety of international trade matters.
Judge Kelly has written numerous law review articles that have appeared in top journals such as the Virginia Journal of International Law, Michigan Journal of International Law, Minnesota Law Review, New York University Journal of International Law & Politics and the Arizona Law Review. She has presented her work at forums worldwide, including the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, and the American Society of International Law.
Judge Kelly has served on several bar committees as well as on the Board of Directors of the Customs and International Trade Bar Association (CITBA), chairing its Subcommittee on Trade Adjustment Assistance and co-authoring its Primer on Litigating Trade Adjustment Assistance Cases. She is also an elected member of the American Law Institute and past co-chair of the International Economic Law Group of the American Society of International Law.
Judge Kelly was not only a respected scholar, but also a beloved and devoted teacher and an integral part of the BLS community during her years on the faculty. She was voted Professor of the Year three consecutive years in a row by the student body. She also served on countless faculty committees and worked tirelessly to promote the Law School and her students in the legal community. In January, she was a recipient of the 2014 “Alumni of the Year” award, presented by the BLS Alumni Association.
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Debra Humphreys ’84 is a Founder and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School located in Joplin, Missouri.
Upon graduation from law school, Humphreys joined the New York office of Davis Polk & Wardwell, LLP, where she served as an associate in the firm’s tax group for nearly eight years. In 1992, she relocated with her husband to Joplin to be closer to his family’s residential and commercial roofing business, Tamko Building Products, Inc.
It was in researching local schools for their young son that Humphreys formulated her next career move. Not finding exactly what she wanted in the Joplin school system and remembering the life-changing scholarship assistance she received at Brooklyn Law School, she decided to create a new school to offer the area children a different set of educational opportunities. In August 1993, she and her husband opened the Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School. The school, whose enrollment is open to all, provides a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. Since its opening, with Humphreys serving as chair of the Board of Trustees, the school has experienced tremendous growth, boasting the highest percentage of merit scholars in Missouri and a new $15 million Arts and Student Life Complex. The school also provides 40 percent of its students with significant financial aid. The Humphreys provide additional merit-based scholarships to bring the total to over 50 percent.
Humphreys’ commitment to education and to ensuring opportunity for all children extends deep into her community. In 2009, the Humphreys established the Humphreys Fund for Residencies in Entrepreneurship and Business Leadership at Sewanee University’s Babson Center for Global Commerce. Additionally, after devastating tornadoes hit Joplin in 2011, the Humphreys made significant donations to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross to help rebuild the city’s public schools.
Humphreys is also an ardent supporter of Brooklyn Law School. She is a member of the 1901 Society and recently endowed the Humphreys Family Scholarship, awarded annually to a deserving female student who has shown exceptional promise in the areas of either tax or corporate law. Humphreys also played an advisory role in the creation of the Law School’s new Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE) and made a leadership gift to launch the Center. She too was a recipient of the 2014 “Alumni of the Year” award.
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Manuel Quintana, a former associate professor at Brooklyn Law School, is Founder and President of Bravo! Bravo! SMM, Inc., a sports marketing agency that specializes exclusively in soccer. He is responsible for the many players, coaches, and football clubs represented by the agency, which he founded 18 years ago.
As an Argentine-American raised in New York, Quintana grew up with the sport, playing midfield while an undergraduate at Stanford University. After receiving his law degree from New York University, he moved to Seattle where he met his wife, Maud, and worked for the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. His office was in their cemetery’s lawnmower shed; at the time, nothing else remained of their reservation. He was tasked with recovering the land that had been taken from them.
Quintana also worked as a lawyer at Kelley, Drye & Warren in Manhattan and as general counsel for the NYC Housing Authority. In 1992, while teaching at BLS, he was nominated by President George H.W. Bush to serve as a United States District Judge in the Southern District of New York. In 1996, he became the USA’s first Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Players’ Agent.
At Bravo! Bravo! SMM, Quintana concentrates on player management using experience gained from practicing business law on Wall Street and serving as a general counsel and Director of the NYC Economic Development Corporation under New York Mayors Edward Koch and Rudolph Giuliani. Among those players he has helped are Roberto Falcão, Carlos Gallo, Claude Makelele, Danilo, and Mehdi Ballouchy, the 2006 MLS Number 2 SuperDraft pick.
In May 2013, Quintana was ordained a permanent deacon at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn. Previously, he served as trustee, parish pastoral council member, and adult faith formation committee co-chair at the Oratory Church of St. Boniface. He also served on the Diocesan Pastoral Council under Bishop DiMarzio and Bishop Daley.