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    10.31.14 Building New Ground: Centers, Institutes, and Fellowship Programs

    Our graduates are making gifts that fuel innovation and pioneer change through the creation of new centers and the development of ground-breaking programming which help attract students and raise the profile of the Law School.

    For example, to increase our students’ and graduates’ ability to support entrepreneurship both during and after law school, the Law School created the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship (CUBE). CUBE will provide effective legal representation and advice for new commercial and not-for-profit businesses, and train the next generation of lawyers to understand the needs of new and growing companies. Whether in technology, real estate, media, creative arts, energy, or social enterprise, CUBE offers the tools to support and help build the start-up successes of tomorrow and beyond.

    Initial CUBE founders include Evan B. Azriliant '92, Robert B. Catell, Irwin Cohen '58, Lawrence I. Feldman '74 and Diane Feldman, Andrew Finkelstein, Stanley Grossman '67 and Nancy Grossman, Debra Humphreys '84 and David C. Humphreys, Deborah Riegel '93, and Gary M. Rosenberg '74.

    The support of these donors has allowed BLS to expand its CUBE teaching capacity by filling two new full-time clinical positions and hiring two additional adjunct faculty. This expansion has increased both the number of students enrolled and the scope of clinic activities. To provide CUBE with workspace, Robert Catell, an emeritus Board of Trustee member, arranged two off-campus locations, one in DUMBO and another in Metrotech Center.

    Graduates who consider business acumen a critical ingredient to legal success have also supported CUBE. Andrew Finkelstein ’91, Managing Partner of four strategically aligned law firms (Finkelstein & Partners LLP, Jacoby & Myers LLP, Fine Olin & Anderman LLP, and Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber, LLP), is one such donor. “Students should be able to think like business people,” he said. As an entrepreneur himself, he has grown his firm, Finkelstein & Partners, which his father Howard Finkelstein ’59 started in 1959 right after graduating from BLS, by acquiring the three other firms. Finkelstein’s support of CUBE stems from his desire to expand legal services to entrepreneurs and individuals who otherwise could not afford such services.

    In its inaugural year, CUBE hosted events such as the CUBE Innovators Competition, a day-long symposium, “From Bleak House to Geek House: Evolving Law for Entrepreneurial Lawyers,” and a Breakfast Roundtable, “New Directions: Land Use and Housing in the de Blasio Era.” Read more about CUBE and its impressive roster of activities this year by clicking here.

    The Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation has also benefited from strong donor support. A Business Advisory Committee made up of alumni working in the field of financial compliance and regulation, provide advice and financial support with respect to the overall direction and strategy of the Center. The Advisory Committee makes recommendations on areas of study and programs that the law school can offer in light of developments in business law and practice. For a complete list of the Members of the Business Advisory Council please click here.

    Trade Secrets Institute logo

    David Mitnick ’00, Founder of Domain Skate LLC, is also a great supporter of programming at the Law School. Mitnick supports three fellows at the Law School’s Trade Secrets Institute (TSI). TSI is a relatively new initiative of Brooklyn Law School, founded in 2010, designed to provide comprehensive neutral coverage of key trade secret cases and legislative or regulatory initiatives throughout the United States.

    The TSI database allows users to search the information by trade secrets issue, trade secrets subject matter, document type, or jurisdiction. The TSI also provides access to state trade secrets statutes and related federal laws, and some of the seminal decisions on trade secrets law among many U.S. jurisdictions. Three students are selected as fellows each year to maintain the database.

    One of the cornerstones of the TSI is the creation of a new course, the Trade Secrets Workshop taught by Alexander Kaplan ’00, Partner at Proskauer Rose, LLP. The workshop focuses on both research and doctrinal issues in trade secrets law. The TSI also benefits from input of its Advisory Board, each with expertise in intellectual property and trade secrets. For a full list of TSI Advisory Board members please click here.

    Graduates are also impacting our community by funding panels addressing topics of critical legal significance such as The Barry L. Zaretsky Roundtable, a dinner that brings together distinguished practitioners, judges, and academics to discuss cutting-edge commercial and bankruptcy law topics. This past year’s event, entitled, “Avoiding Chapter 22: Predicting Success in Chapter 11,” was funded by the generosity of over 25 donors committed to the success of the Law School.

    Tyler Korff ’12, who is a recent graduate member of the Board of Trustees and an influential solo practitioner with the Law Office of Tyler J. Korff, funded a half-day symposium entitled “Fighting for Veterans: Meeting the Need for Legal Services in New York City.” The program explored the role that lawyers can play in assisting both veterans and their families, which is especially relevant to New York City, home to a quarter-million veterans. The panel included representatives from private practice, the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Assistance Project at the City Bar Justice Center, the Veteran Advocacy Project at the Urban Justice Center, and the New York Legal Assistance Group, as well as the student organization, BLS Law Students for Veterans’ Rights.