Alphonzo Grant, Jr. ’98, Howard Hershenhorn ’89, Deborah Riegel ’93 Join Board of Trustees


Brooklyn Law School has announced the election of three new members to its Board of Trustees: Alphonzo Grant, Jr. ’98, managing director at Morgan Stanley; Howard Hershenhorn ’89, partner at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf; and Deborah E. Riegel ’93, a member of the litigation department at Rosenberg & Estis.

“Alphonzo Grant, Deborah Riegel, and Howard Hershenhorn have generously given of their time, talent, and treasure to the Law School for many years, so I’m delighted that they will now be sharing their experience and insights with the Board,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Francis J. Aquila ’83.

Grant is an advocate for civil rights, diversity, and inclusion in the law and beyond. He was previously a litigation special counsel and the director of diversity initiatives at Sullivan & Cromwell and a commissioner on the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board. He previously served as a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Enhance Diversity in the Profession Committee.

Grant and his wife, Isis Sapp-Grant, have established the Sapp-Grant Diversity Recruitment Fund to expand diversity and inclusion at Brooklyn Law School and enhance opportunities and support for students to succeed during their legal studies and in their careers. Grant also remembers a “life-changing mentorship” in law school by then-adjunct professor William Kuntz, who is now senior U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

“I have a deep appreciation for Brooklyn Law School, particularly because of the significant role the institution has played in my career and my life. And when I say the institution, I also mean the faculty, the administration, and fellow alumni,” said Grant, who was appointed as a Recent Graduate Trustee member shortly after he graduated in 1998.

“It was an amazing experience because I got to interact with some of my role models and mentors, and these were significant names in Brooklyn Law School: Edward Korman, a U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District of New York, and former Dean David Trager, who has since passed away. They were both trustees,” he said. “So, after that amazing experience, I made it my goal to one day return as a trustee and give back in the most meaningful way to the institution.”

Riegel joined Rosenberg & Estis one year after graduating from Brooklyn Law School. Her practice involves both commercial and residential real estate matters, including commercial lease disputes, construction matters, tort and breach of contract claims, cooperative shareholder disputes, and class-action litigation related to rent regulatory issues, as well as all forms of summary proceedings.

She currently serves as president of Brooklyn Law School’s Alumni Association and is a member of the Law School’s Women’s Leadership Circle. Riegel is also a founding member of Brooklyn Law’s Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE). She has been an adjunct faculty member for many years, teaching the Landlord-Tenant Litigation Seminar this semester.

“I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Law School for the solid foundation it provided for my career and for the support the community provided even after I graduated. Both the education and the community the Law School provided have been integral to my success and it is my honor and privilege, and I believe my obligation, to give back,” said Riegel. “I hope to bring both my professional expertise in real estate and my commitment to the helping the next generations of students achieve the success I have had, whether that is as an adjunct professor or in my current role as president of the Alumni Board or as a trustee.”

Hershenhorn is a successful trial lawyer in the areas of medical malpractice and personal injury. He was voted 2020 Lawyer of the Year for Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs in New York City by Best Lawyers.

Hershenhorn is a former Alumni Association Board member, former member of the President’s Advisory Council, and former vice chairman of Brooklyn Law School’s Moot Court Honor Society. In 2020, he and his friend Louis Grandelli ’90 created a scholarship for students with financial need as a way to thank Brooklyn Law School for what it gave to him. Hershenhorn has served as an adjunct professor at the Law School for 12 years, teaching a Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Seminar.

“I would do anything I could for the school, and have tried to over the years,” Hershenhorn said. “I come from a background where I'm the first college graduate in my family, and certainly the first post-grad. I literally would not be where I am today without Brooklyn Law School, so I am forever indebted. I'd like to be able to bring all my background and experience on other boards to the administrative side - to really get into the inner workings of the school and to do all that I can to help ensure that the school thrives.”