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Bechtel Debra Photo

Debra Bechtel

Associate Professor of Clinical Law
(718) 780-0342
B.A., University of Washington
J.D., George Washington University National Law Center
Areas of Expertise
Community Development
Corporate Law
Real Estate Law


Debra Bechtel is one of New York City’s foremost legal experts in low-income cooperatives. She has been teaching at Brooklyn Law School since 1997 when she founded the Corporate and Real Estate Clinic. The Clinic provides representation for these low-income co-ops and each semester enrolls approximately six to ten students. Dozens of low-income cooperatives in three Boroughs have been preserved in part because of the students’ assistance with loan closings, real estate tax arrears, shareholder meetings and other challenges. In 2014, she was appointed as Deputy Director of the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE), which trains students to represent entrepreneurs and involves them, along with faculty, in housing and economic development policy issues. Prior to teaching, Professor Bechtel was the Director of the Community Development Legal Assistance Center, a project of what is now Lawyer’s Alliance for New York, and she was a staff attorney with the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. Professor Bechtel has been active in the Cooperative and Condominium Committee of New York State Bar Association’s Real Property Section for the past ten years, speaking at meetings and CLE events. For the past three years she has been a member of the New York City Bar's Housing and Urban Development Committee.
Her article titled “Forming Entities to Negotiate Community Benefits Agreements”, was published in the Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law