The faculty within Columbia Law School's clinical education program offer their expertise and years of experience to students enrolled in clinics. If you're interested in a particular clinic, contact information for the appropriate faculty member is listed below.
Adolescent Representation Clinic
Jane M. Spinak is the Edward Ross Aranow Clinical Professor of Law. A member of the Columbia faculty since 1982, she co-founded the Child Advocacy Clinic, which currently represents adolescents aging out of foster care. During the mid-1990s,Spinak served as attorney-in-charge of the Juvenile Rights Division of The Legal Aid Society of New York City. From 2001 to 2006, she was the director of clinical education at the law school. In 2002, she became the founding chair of the board of the Center for Family Representation, an advocacy and policy organization dedicated to ensuring the procedural and substantive rights of parents in child-welfare proceedings. Spinak is a member of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. She has served on numerous tasks forces and committees addressing the needs and rights of children and families and has trained and lectured widely on those issues to lawyers, social workers and other mental health professionals. She has authored books and articles for child advocates and judges on child welfare and Family Court matters including a Permanency Planning Judicial Benchbook. Her current research focuses on Family Court reform as discussed in Adding Value to Families: The Potential of Model Family Courts (2002 Wisconsin Law Review 332) and Romancing the Court (Family Court Review, April 2008). In 2005, Spinak was named a Human Rights Hero for her work on behalf of children by the ABA’s Human Rights Magazine. In 2008 she was awarded the Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare by the New York State Bar Association. Spinak is currently co-chairing the Task Force on Family Court in New York City recently established by the New York County Lawyer’s Association.
Community Enterprise Clinic
Barbara Schatz joined the Law School faculty in 1985. She served as director of clinical education from 1996 to 2001. She previously served as executive director of the Council of New York Law Associates (now the Lawyers Alliance for New York), where she administered a public-interest program involving both staff lawyers and 1,800 pro bono lawyers; founded the Community Development Legal Assistance Center; and co-founded the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and Court Appointed Special Advocates. She has represented many nonprofit organizations in corporate, tax, and real estate matters and lectured widely about nonprofit corporate and tax law. Schatz has trained and consulted with law professors interested in establishing clinical programs in China, Central and Eastern Europe, and countries of the former Soviet Union.
Environmental Law Clinic
Edward Lloyd is the Evan M. Frankel Clinical Professor in Environmental Law. He joined the Columbia Law School faculty in 2000. Formerly executive director of the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, Lloyd serves as its general counsel. He is co-director of the Eastern Environmental Law Center and a member of the Litigation Review Committee of Environmental Defense. An activist and scholar on a wide range of environmental legal issues and citizen suit litigation, Lloyd has testified before U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committees on environmental enforcement. In 2002, he was appointed to the New Jersey Pinelands Commission.
Susan J. Kraham is a Senior Staff Attorney and Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School's Environmental Law Clinic. Kraham has spent her legal career representing public interest clients with a particular focus on environmental and land use law. Prior to joining the Environmental Law Clinic, Kraham served as Counsel to the New Jersey Audubon Society. From 1998 until 2005, she was an Associate Clinical Professor in the Environmental Law Clinic at Rutgers Law School, Newark. Kraham was a 1992 graduate of Columbia Law School. She also has a Masters in Urban Planning from New York University’s Wagner School. After graduation from Law School, Kraham clerked for the Honorable Justice Gary Stein of the New Jersey Supreme Court. She was a Skadden fellow. Kraham was also an echoing green fellow where she partnered on a community-based environmental justice project.
Human Rights Clinic
Sarah Knuckey joined Columbia Law School in July 2014 as faculty co-director of the Human Rights Institute, director of the Human Rights Clinic, and the Lieff Cabraser Associate Clinical Professor of Law. Knuckey is an international human rights lawyer, professor, and special adviser to the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions. She has carried out fact-finding investigations and reported on human rights and armed conflict violations around the world, including in Afghanistan, Brazil, the Central African Republic, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, and the United States.
Knuckey’s work has addressed issues such as unlawful killings, armed conflict, sexual violence, corporate accountability, extractive industries, and protest rights. Her academic research interests include human rights methodologies, critical perspectives on human rights, new weapons technologies, transparency norms, and post-traumatic stress disorder and resilience.
Knuckey is a founding editor of Just Security, an online forum for analysis of U.S. national security law and policy. She has been awarded the Fulbright Postgraduate Award, the Murphy Postgraduate Scholarship, the Harvard Human Rights Program Fellowship, the Parsons Memorial Prize for Law, and the KCF Keall Prize in Law.
Before joining Columbia Law School, Knuckey was an adjunct professor of clinical law and director of the Initiative on Human Rights Fact-Finding and the Project on Extrajudicial Executions at NYU School of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. She also previously clerked for Australian High Court Justice Michael Kirby and served as the Everett Public Service Fellow at Human Rights Watch. She is also an Extraordinary Lecturer at the Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in South Africa.
Benjamin Hoffman, Clinical Teaching Fellow, Lecturer in Law
Benjamin Hoffman is a lawyer specializing in international human rights law and corporate accountability. Benjamin’s work and scholarship focus is on the integration of community collaboration and empowerment in transnational human rights advocacy strategies and methodology.
Prior to joining Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Clinic, Benjamin spent three years working with EarthRights International in Lima, Peru, providing litigation support to communities from the Andean-Amazonian region resisting the harmful consequences of resource extraction and mega-development projects. He has also worked with Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic, as an Ella Baker Fellow with the Center for Constitutional Rights, and as a Human Rights Fellow with the Colombian NGO DeJuSticia. Through this work, Benjamin has provided legal, policy, and advocacy support to communities in Latin America, South Africa and the United States affected by development projects, resource extraction, armed conflict, state violence, and Apartheid.
He holds a B.A. in Rhetoric and Political Science from U.C. Berkeley, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he received the Dean's Award for Community Leadership for his work in the area of human rights. He is currently admitted to practice law in New York.
Immigrants' Rights Clinic
Elora Mukherjee joined the Columbia Law School faculty as an associate clinical professor of law in July 2014. She previously served as a clinical teaching fellow and lecturer-in-law and was an instructor in the Mass Incarceration Clinic with Professor Brett Dignam.
Mukherjee is director of the Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, which provides high-quality legal representation to immigrants detained at two New Jersey detention centers. In addition to representing individuals, students in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic collaborate with local and national immigrants’ rights organizations on regulatory and legislative reforms, impact litigation, grassroots advocacy, and strategic planning. Mukherjee also advises students participating in a Law School partnership with Kids in Need of Defense, a nonprofit that provides legal representation to unaccompanied minors in immigration proceedings.
Before joining Columbia Law School, Mukherjee was a staff attorney at the ACLU Racial Justice Program. In that capacity, her work included serving as lead counsel in a suit that successfully reformed Nebraska’s ballot access laws; serving as lead counsel in a class action suit challenging racial profiling and abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws in east Texas; organizing a multi-faceted litigation and advocacy campaign in Michigan to challenge debtors’ prisons; challenging Michigan’s failure to provide adequate indigent defense services; challenging the failure of a Louisiana parish to provide adequate indigent defense services; working on Sheff v. O’Neill, a Hartford-region desegregation case; serving as counsel in cases challenging anti-immigrant state laws in Alabama, Georgia, and Utah; and helping to coordinate efforts to reduce racial profiling nationwide. From 2006 to 2007, Mukherjee served as the Marvin M. Karpatkin Fellow at the ACLU Racial Justice Program, working on all aspects of investigating, litigating, and settling suits for immigrant children detained under prison-like conditions at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Texas, among other matters.
Mukherjee is a founder and director of the Refugee Reunification Project, which provides grants to help refugee families purchase plane tickets to safety in the United States; a director of the Fair Housing Justice Center, which seeks to build open and inclusive communities; and a director of Warm Heart, a community-based, development organization serving rural northern Thailand.
From 2007 to 2010, Mukherjee was an associate at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady where she litigated a broad range of civil rights cases, including dozens of cases involving police misconduct, prisoners’ rights, and housing and employment discrimination. She served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jan E. DuBois in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2006.
Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic
Conrad Johnson joined the Columbia faculty in 1989 after two years as an assistant professor at the City University of New York School of Law and many years as the attorney-in-charge of the Harlem neighborhood office of The Legal Aid Society. He served as Director of Clinical Education from 1992 to 1996. He co-founded, and for eleven years directed, the Law School's Fair Housing Clinic, which specialized in civil rights litigation. He is co-creator of the Law School's first distance-learning offering, the Seminar in Race-Conscious Remedies (1999), and co-created, with Brian Donnelly, the Law School's first e-course (2000), "The Impact of Technology on the Legal Profession." In 2001, he co-founded the Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic, a pathbreaking offering that explores the impact of technology on law practice and the profession through client work and collaborative projects with major public interest legal organizations and prominent jurists. Johnson is recognized nationally as a leader in innovative legal education, access to justice, technology in law practice and diversity in legal education. He is the 2013 recipient of the Professor Willis L.M. Reese Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Law School’s only teaching award.
Mary Marsh Zulack joined the Columbia faculty in 1990. She is co-director, with Conrad Johnson and Brian Donnelly, of the Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic. She was Director of Clinical Education at Columbia from 2005 until 2010. For many years she co-directed the Fair Housing Clinic, and she inaugurated and taught the seminar on Law and Policy of Homelessness. She was a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary from 2006 through 2008. In the course of her 20-year career in legal services work prior to joining the faculty, Zulack served in many positions, including attorney-in-charge of the Harlem Neighborhood Office of The Legal Aid Society of New York City and Acting Executive Director of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Legal Services Corp. in Brooklyn. She has served the Association of the Bar of the City of New York as a member of the Executive Committee, Nominating Committee(twice), Judiciary Committee(several times), and Civil Court Committee, was founder and first chair of the Committee on Legal Needs of the Poor. She has been honored with the 1996 Leadership Award by the Citywide Task Force on the Housing Court, as well as with awards for outstanding Pro Bono service by the Legal Aid Society in 2003, 2006, and 2009.
Brian Donnelly, Lecturer in Law, co-taught the Seminar in Advanced Legal Research from 1996 to 1999. He helped to found the Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic and has collaborated for many years with Professors Conrad Johnson and Mary Zulack on the development of other efforts to teach lawyering and technology. He is the Director of Educational Technology at the Law School. In his administrative role, he is responsible for the design and operation of the Law School's world-class classroom technology, curriculum-based Internet initiatives and the integration of technology into teaching and learning.
Mass Incarceration Clinic
Brett Dignam joined the Columbia Law School faculty in 2010. She came to Columbia from Yale Law School, where she led the Prison Legal Services, Complex Federal Litigation and Supreme Court Advocacy clinics. An award-winning teacher, Dignam has supervised students in a broad range of litigation matters and has designed and overseen workshops conducted by students for prisoners at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut on issues including immigration, sexual assault, and exhaustion under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. She has participated in major litigation in over 30 federal and state cases in the area of prisoners' rights. Before entering the legal academy, Dignam served as a law clerk for the Honorable William H. Orrick, U.S. District Court in San Francisco, California, and then developed a prison litigation practice in both federal and state courts.
She also served as an attorney in the Criminal Appeals and Tax Enforcement Policy Section, Tax Division, in the Department of Justice, from 1990-92, where she handled criminal appeals in all federal courts of appeals; the cases involved motor fuel excise tax/organized crime task force, savings and loan task force and sentencing guidelines issues. She also assisted Deputy Assistant Attorney General James Bruton to form the Division Policy on issues ranging from money laundering to RICO. Dignam has both a criminal and civil trial and appellate practice in both federal and state courts. She has participated in major litigation at both levels on behalf of prisoners and on tax matters, among other issues. As an associate professor at Yale Law, Dignam taught and supervised students in Prison Legal Services, Poverty/HIV, Landlord/Tenant and Immigration clinics, guiding students through administrative hearings, state and federal trial and appellate courts on issues ranging from state habeas claims to violations of the Voting Rights Act. Dignam received her J.D. from the University of Southern California, where she was student director of the USC Prison Law Project and chair of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program. She has a Master of Arts degree in theater from the University of California at Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College.
Alexandra Carter, a former associate attorney with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, is Director of Clinical Education at Columbia Law School. She teaches the Law School's Mediation Clinic with Professor Carol B. Liebman. Carter, who won the Jane Marks Murphy Prize for clinical advocacy while a student at CLS, has become a strong advocate of mediation as a valuable tool for many kinds of legal challenges. Through Safe Horizon, a New York-based non-profit that specializes in mediation, Carter has served as a mediator. She has also supervised student mediations in court-related programs at New York City Civil Court and Harlem Small Claims Court.
She has been at Cravath, Swaine & Moore since 2004, where she has served on a team defending against a multi-billion dollar securities class-action lawsuit related to Enron. She has also served as the senior antitrust associate on several multi-billion dollar mergers and worked on cases involving copyright law.
Carter majored in English and minored in Mandarin Chinese at Georgetown University, earning her B.A. in 1997. She spent 1997-98 in Taiwan on a Fulbright Scholarship, where she researched Taiwan's contemporary literature to assess the political tensions at the time between those who wanted the island to assert independence and those who favored reunification with the Republic of China. She worked as a private equity analyst with Goldman Sachs in New York from 1998 to 2000, then enrolled at Columbia Law School, where she took the mediation clinic, and later worked as a teaching assistant in the clinic under Liebman. Carter also was articles editor for the Journal of Transnational Law. While at Columbia Law School Carter also won the Lawrence S. Greenbaum Prize for best oral argument in the 2002 Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition. Carter earned her J.D. in 2003, then clerked for the Hon. Mark L. Wolf, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston before joining Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Shawn Watts, Lecturer in Law
Shawn Watts is a Citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and is the Associate Director of the Mediation Clinic. Watts won the Jane Marks Murphy Prize for clinical advocacy and was a Strine Fellow while he was a student at Columbia Law School. He developed and teaches a course in Native American Peacemaking, which is a traditional indigenous form of dispute resolution, and is a member of the Peacemaking Advisory Board of the Native American Rights Fund (NARF).
Watts has mediated in the New York City Civil Court, Harlem Small Claims Court, and the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, and he has also supervised student mediations in court-related programs in New York City. Watts previously worked an associate in the Finance and Bankruptcy practice group at the New York office of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP where, in addition to representing both creditors and debtors in multimillion-dollar bankruptcies, he specialized in Federal Indian Law and tribal finance.
Watts earned a bachelor of arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2000. He served as the President of the National Native American Law Students Association and was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar while at Columbia Law School. In addition, he was a Managing Editor of Columbia Law School’s Journal of Law and Social Problems.
Incarceration and the Family Clinic
Philip Genty joined the Columbia faculty in 1989. He formerly worked as an attorney at Prisoners' Legal Services of New York; the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation and Development; and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Community Legal Services Corporation. He serves on the Family Court Advisory and Rules Committee to the Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York; the Advisory Group of the National Institute of Corrections, Federal Resource Center for Children of Prisoners; and the Coalition for Women in Prison of the New York Correctional Association. He helped develop the Incarcerated Mothers Legal Project, coordinated by Volunteers of Legal Services, Inc., and the Women's Prison Association. He has written on issues concerning prisoners' rights and family law and has served as a trainer and consultant to many advocacy organizations. He is the co-coordinator of the first-year Legal Writing and Research program and the faculty director of the Moot Court program.
Sexuality and Gender Clinic
Suzanne B. Goldberg is a leading national expert in sexuality and gender law. Goldberg is Clinical Law Professor and Director of the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic at Columbia Law School, where she also teaches civil procedure and seminars in lawyering and social change. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty, Goldberg was a member of the faculty and director of the Women’s Rights Litigation Clinic of Rutgers School of Law-Newark. While there, she served for many years on the state supreme court’s civil practice committee.
During the 1990s, Goldberg was a senior attorney with Lambda Legal, an organization specializing in protecting the rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender (LGBT) individuals, and people with HIV/AIDS. At Lambda, she worked extensively on employment, immigration, and family law matters, as well as on challenges to numerous antigay amendments and sodomy laws. Her cases include two that eventually became cornerstone gay rights victories before the US Supreme Court – Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated Texas’ sodomy law, and Romer v. Evans, which struck down an anti-gay Colorado constitutional amendment. Goldberg has also been a leader in seeking immigration and asylum rights for LBGT individuals and people with HIV/AIDS. In the early 1990s, she co-founded Immigration Equality (formerly known as the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force) and later chaired the board of directors, sheparding the organization into a leading role on all matters related to sexual orientation, HIV, and immigration.
Goldberg’s scholarship, which focuses on procedural and substantive barriers to equality, has won numerous awards. Her 2004 article, Morals-Based Justifications for Lawmaking: Before and After Lawrence v. Texas, won the Dukeminier Award from the Williams Institute of UCLA Law School, as did her 2006 article, Constitutional Tipping Points: Civil Rights, Social Change, and Fact-Based Adjudication. A new article, Discrimination by Comparison, will be published in 2011 in the Yale Law Journal. Her co-authored book, Strangers to the Law: Gay People on Trial, has been hailed for capturing the cultural, political and legal context of the gay rights movement in the 1990s through the lens of the Romer v. Evans trial. Copies of Goldberg’s recent scholarship can be found on her Columbia Law School faculty web page. Goldberg is a frequent commentator and analyst for news media on sexuality and gender law, and on discrimination law and litigation issues. Her commentary has been featured on 20/20 and on CNN and the national networks as well as on radio and news outlets around the world.
Goldberg graduated with honors from Brown University in 1985, and then was a Fulbright Fellow at the National University of Singapore. Following her graduation with honors from Harvard Law School in 1990, she clerked for Justice Marie Garibaldi of the New Jersey Supreme Court. In May 2009, Goldberg received the Columbia Law School Willis L.M. Reese Award for Excellence in Teaching. Goldberg has also been honored to receive the Columbia Law School Public Interest Professor of the Year Award, the M. Ashley Dickerson Award from the National Association of Women Lawyers, the Annual Honor from the LGBT Rights Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, as well as other recognition for her work in sexuality and gender law.