Karen Porter headshot

Karen Porter

Associate Dean for Academic and Student Success and Associate Professor of Clinical Law
(718) 780-7559
B.A., Yale College
M.S. New York University
J.D., Yale Law School
Areas of Expertise
AIDS Policy
Law and Medicine
Public Health Law


Karen Porter is Associate Professor of Clinical Law and Executive Director of Brooklyn Law School's Center for Health, Science, and Public Policy. In these roles, she serves as faculty director for the law school’s health law externship program and teaches a class on public health law. She has taught courses at Washington University Law School, Seton Hall Law School, Quinnipiac Law School, and the Graduate Program in Health Advocacy at Sarah Lawrence College.

Effective July 1, she was appointed to be the Law School’s first Associate Dean for Academic and Student Success. Previously, in 2020, Dean Porter was appointed the inaugural Arthur Pinto & Stephen Bohlen Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity. In that new role, Dean Porter led the Law School’s efforts to create and support an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of the community, and promoted opportunities for students as well as alumni. As part of the effort to champion learning in this area, she introduced a new course to the curriculum, Lawyers Leading Change. 

Prior to teaching, Dean Porter held a post-doctoral fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center/The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Division of Bioethics. The highlight of the fellowship was the opportunity to participate in the on-site interdisciplinary clinical consultation service that provided analysis of and recommendations about ethical issues related to patient care. Dean Porter continues to share her expertise in bioethics in service to the public. In 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed her to the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law. The Task Force assists New York State in developing law and public policy on issues related to medicine and ethics and comprises leaders in the field of religion, philosophy, law, medicine, nursing, and bioethics. The Task Force has produced influential reports on cutting-edge bioethics issues, including the withholding and withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment, assisted reproductive technologies, organ transplantation, dietary supplements, assisted suicide, genetic testing, and the allocation of ventilators in an influenza pandemic.

Dean Porter has a broad knowledge base and experience on issues related to public health law and AIDS policy. Her interest in this area of law began after her graduation from Yale Law School, when she served as senior policy analyst and staff counsel to the National Commission on AIDS. The congressionally authorized commission was established by statute to promote the development of a national consensus on policy concerning acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).