Ready to Take on the World:
Get to Know Some Outstanding Members of the Class of 2019

Erin Callihan

Erin Callihan

Hometown: York, Pa.
Career plans: Assistant Vice President for Student UX, Technology, and Engagement at New York University


Recipient of the Carswell Scholarship, Humphreys Family Opportunity Prize, Jeffry H. Gallet Memorial Scholarship, and Beverly C. and Charles B. Smith Endowed Scholarship


Why did you decide to come to Brooklyn Law School?
Some of the smartest and most interesting people I know went to law school. From the minute I visited Brooklyn Law School, I loved that I was surrounded by a wide variety of people from all walks of life who each seemed open to new ideas and committed to making the most of their law school experience. I also loved the location, reputation, alumni, and overall vibe.

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Benjamin Cohen

Benjamin Cohen

Hometown: Livingston, N.J.
Career plans: Master’s program in business administration at Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College; entrepreneurship and corporate law


What is your most memorable law school moment?
Through the Corporate and Real Estate Clinic, we helped a low-income co-op building receive a loan to help fix boiler and gas issues that they hadn’t been able to resolve in over a year.

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Mario Fitzgerald

Mario Fitzgerald

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Career plans: Housing Staff Attorney at Brooklyn Legal Services


Recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship and Glasser Scholarship


Why did you decide to come to Brooklyn Law School?
I wanted to pursue a public interest career in a city with a variety of organizations, like New York City. The Law School, specifically, also provided a tremendous amount of support with scholarships and housing.

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Terry Frederic

Terry Frederic

Hometown: West Palm Beach, Fla.
Career plans: Law Clerk at U.S. Court of International Trade


Recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, William Payson Richardson Memorial Scholarship, and Judge William C. Thompson ’54 Scholarship


How did these scholarships affect your law school experience?
The William C. Thompson ’54 Scholarship allowed me to work in a summer externship at the Court of International Trade. Judge Thompson recently passed away, and I attended the celebration service held in his memory. I was deeply moved by his story and the effect he had on those who knew him. Regrettably, I never got to meet him, but he has had an impact on my life. I hope to honor his memory by striving to be a better person and professional moving forward.

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Krista Gay

Krista Gay

Hometown: Athens, Vt.
Career plans: Assistant Corporation Counsel at New York City Law Department, Labor & Employment Division; Law Clerk to U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York


Recipient of the Robert A. Kahn Family Law Scholarship


Why did you choose Brooklyn Law School?
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to practice public interest or corporate law, and I liked that Brooklyn Law School placed equal emphasis on both. That, as well as the Law School’s location, gave me the chance to explore different options.

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Sam Goodstein

Sam Goodstein

Hometown: Summit, N.J.
Career plans: Associate at Fox Rothschild


What is the most surprising thing you learned at Brooklyn Law School?
Law school is a team effort. Having family, friends, professors, and administrators supporting you throughout the journey is essential to achieving your goals while attending law school.

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Alina Amir Islam-Hashmi

Alina Amir Islam-Hashmi

Hometown: Branchburg, N.J.
Career plans: Bankruptcy and Real Estate law


Recipient of the Prince Scholarship


What law school accomplishment are you most proud of? 
The role I played as president of the Muslim Law Students’ Association. I had the opportunity to work with a passionate group of students who came together for professional and social events and supported one another in their academics and extracurricular pursuits. We hosted panels about political issues, professional advice, and more.

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Amber Leary

Amber Leary

Hometown: Scranton, Pa.
Career plans: Associate at Davis, Polk & Wardwell


Recipient of the Prince Scholarship; Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship; Judge M. Henry Martuscullo Endowed Scholarship; Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf Scholarship; Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni Scholarship


What is the most surprising thing you learned at Brooklyn Law School?
How collaborative all my peers were. The old law school legend is that people are competitive and unwilling to do anything that would help another succeed. This is not the environment I found here. Instead, I saw that people preferred to study in groups rather than alone, class notes and outlines were willingly offered, and someone was always around to commiserate about a bad cold call. The law school stress and anxiety did not make us competitors but brought the class together.

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Aubria Ralph

Aubria Ralph

Hometown: Town of Fountain, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Bellport, N.Y.
Career plans: Associate at Allen & Overy


Recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship and Edward V. Sparer Fellowship


What impact did the scholarship and fellowship have on your legal career?
Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my heroes, and I loved the way he was able to connect to every single person, no matter their background or belief system. One of my favorite quotes is from Letter from Birmingham Jail: “Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I look forward to making my own strides in eliminating economic inequity. I’m extremely honored to have both Dr. King and Edward Sparer associated with me forever.

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Salah Shawa

Salah Shawa

Hometown: Aleppo, Syria
Career plans: International Commercial Arbitration


Why did you decide to come to the Law School?
The location of the school in the heart of Brooklyn, as well as the flexibility of the LL.M. program. I could start with the spring semester and graduate in December with three months off in the summer, allowing for work, gaining experience in clinical work, or taking the summer off to recharge and get ready for upcoming challenges, such as the bar exam.

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Spencer Smith

Spencer Smith

Hometown: Columbia, Mo.
Career plans: Public Defender at New York City Legal Aid Society


Recipient of the Prince Scholarship, Bertram Bronzaft Scholarship, Jan Adam Zuckerman Scholarship, and Omer Foundation Scholarship


How did these scholarships influence your law school career?
Each scholarship represents a legacy from the Brooklyn Law School community. The commitment of our alumni to creating scholarships directly impacted my ability to pursue a public interest legal career, and several alumni-funded scholarships also recognized the physical barriers I’ve overcome.

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Edward Soto

Edward Soto

Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.
Career Plans: Public Defender at Bronx Defenders


Recipient of the Lisle Scholarship and Lark-Barranco Scholarship


What law school accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my work with the Criminal Defense & Advocacy Clinic. The clinic evolved my lawyering skills immensely and expanded my knowledge about gender justice and best practices when interviewing and communicating with people who have experienced trauma.

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Giancarlo Vecchiarelli

Giancarlo Vecchiarelli

Hometown: Staten Island, N.Y.
Career plans: King’s County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s Office


Why did you decide to come to Brooklyn Law School?
I visited multiple law schools, but Brooklyn Law School felt like home, and the staff were so welcoming. I also knew that, given its location and relationships with government agencies, I would be able to continue my work in public service.

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