Class of 2017

10 of the outstanding members of the Class of 2017 who will receive their degrees at Commencement on May 18

Jessica Schneider

Jessica Schneider

Hometown: Hawthorne, NJ
Career Plans: Corporate Finance and Antitrust at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Recipient of the Gerald Shargel Scholarship

Why did you decide to come to Brooklyn Law School?
The people. When I was narrowing down my choices, everyone I mentioned the school to had a positive reaction. Brooklyn students have a reputation for being exceptionally hard working and passionate, not only as students but also as legal professionals. We have a strong alumni community who seeks to hire from the school because they know the quality of our students.

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Robert Engelke

Robert Engelke

Hometown: Garden City, NY
Career Plans: Fried Frank, Corporate Associate

Recipient of the Barse Family Scholarship

What is the most surprising thing you learned here?
The dearth of legal representation for low-income individuals and entities, as well as the impact a law school can have in abating that unfortunate reality. I was continually surprised, impressed and motivated by the time and effort many of my classmates put toward helping those less fortunate and in need of legal services. The student body improves people’s lives in the Brooklyn community daily. This was highlighted during the period after the travel ban and still today. There was also recently a book published about the growth of businesses community in Brooklyn and the author credited Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic on its impact in providing legal services to many of these businesses. All of these things were surprising and, more important, motivating.

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Sayyid Choudhury

Sayyid Choudhury

Hometown: New York, NY
Career Plans: Assistant Vice President and Compliance Counsel for the Global Banking and Markets Group, Bank of America.

What is the most surprising thing you learned here?
I came to the Law School thinking that professors would be very rigid. Initially I had fears about reaching out for help. That couldn’t be more false. The professors at Brooklyn Law School are amazing! In my experience, they are more than willing to go the distance to help you out, listen, and provide you with advice. Trust me, they are not rigid at all.

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Tien Khan Tran

Tien-Kha T. Tran

Hometown: Anaheim Hills, CA
Career Plans: Kings County District Attorney’s office, Assistant District Attorney

What is your most proud law school accomplishment?
Having my article, “Organ Transplantation Eligibility: Discrimination on the Basis of Cognitive Disability,” published by the Journal of Law & Policy and subsequently becoming the Managing Editor of the Journal.

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Toni Lambert

Toni Lambert

Hometown: Homewood, IL
Career Plans: Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Litigation Associate

If you could come back and teach a class here, one we offer already or one of your own creation, what would it be?
A clinic focused on juvenile delinquency.

What did you like about going to law school in downtown Brooklyn?
I loved that it put me in a central location. I often had a lot of meetings after class for outside organizations and my part-time job. I was always in a good location to either travel to Manhattan or deeper into Brooklyn. The variety of food choices and the fact that my gym was two blocks away didn’t hurt either.

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Vishal

Vishal Gaikwad

Hometown: Mumbai, India
Career Plans: Pursuing a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree

Recipient of a Graduate Study Merit Scholarship

What is the most surprising thing you learned here?
Bowling! Our LL.M. class went on a bowling outing and it was my first time ever bowling. I had three strikes in three rounds. I never knew that I am a naturally skilled bowler. This game has become my passion now and Brooklyn Law School will always be a part of that.

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Katherine Zhang

Katherine Zhang

Hometown: Queens, NY
Career Plans: United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps

What is your proudest law school accomplishment?
Graduating!

What has been your greatest challenge in law school and how did you overcome it?
I went to law school with a certain career path in mind but once I started my studies, I realized how much I disliked that field. It took a bit of soul searching and rebooting to remember why I came to law school in the first place. I’m happy to report that I figured it out and got my dream job.

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Father Patrick Keating

Fr. Patrick J. Keating

Hometown: New York, NY
Career Plans: Continue his current position as Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens

What is your most proud law school accomplishment?
Working with refugee clients in the Safe Harbor Clinic. This experience helped me realize that even though clients were seeking the legal services of the clinic, they were in fact helping me and my fellow students learn how to apply the law.

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Stephanie Robayo

Stephanie C. Robayo

Hometown: New York, NY
Career Plans: Public service law and policy

Recipient of the Lark-Barranco Scholarship

What is your most proud law school accomplishment?
I am most proud of the Brooklyn Law School presentation of Luminarias de la Ley: Luminaries of the Law. The exhibit was researched and created by DULCCES Visiting Scholar Dolores Atencio, and showcases the first Latina lawyers in the U.S. I worked diligently with the Law School, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, the Dominican Bar Association, Adjunct Professor Diana Sen, and others to bring this one-of-a-kind exhibit to the halls of the 5th floor of the Law School. While this exhibit has been displayed at various law schools and conferences throughout the country, we were the first law school in New York to showcase this exhibit. Further, this was the first time the Law School embraced such a Latino-centered exhibition at the school, demonstrating and affirming the school’s long commitment of diversity and inclusion. The exhibit was on display for a month in 2016, and it provided a remarkable insight into the work and success of American Latina women in the law.

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Vaughn Bobb-Willis

Vaughn Hamilton Bobb-Willis

Hometown: New York, NY
Career Plans: Entertainment Law

Recipient of the Lisle, Lark Barranco and Martin Luther King Scholarships

What has been your greatest challenge in law school and how did you overcome it?
Law school itself is a series of challenges, but the exam periods during my 1L year were especially brutal. I got through it thanks to the Law School’s ‘we’re all in this together’ philosophy and incredible sense of classmate camaraderie. That was a very important support structure. Being surrounded by people who are looking to help one another and continuously lift up those around them is what truly sets Brooklyn Law School apart.

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