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Impact Report


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Points of Pride

in both Practical Training and Criminal Law
by preLaw Magazine
in 2022
of 2023 Incoming Class Were Students of Color
of students received Scholarships and Grants in 2022-23
to Pro Bono and Public Service Work
Alma Mater for Billboard’s 2023 Top Music Lawyers
in 2023 Giving Day challenges unlocked
Diversity Scholarships Offered
in Part-time Programs
U.S. News & World Report, 2022
Go-To Law School
Based on Percentage of Graduates Hired by Largest U.S. Law Firms
National Law Journal, 2023
Top 10
In Law School Innovation
for Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP) Clinic
Bloomberg Law, 2022
in 2023 Giving Day challenges unlocked
Diversity Scholarships Offered
in Part-time Programs
U.S. News & World Report, 2022
Go-To Law School
Based on Percentage of Graduates Hired by Largest U.S. Law Firms
National Law Journal, 2023
Top 10
In Law School Innovation
for Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP) Clinic
Bloomberg Law, 2022
for Scholarly Impact, Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports, 2021*
*most recent report



Annie Nienaber headshot
Since 1901, Brooklyn Law School has upheld a tradition of excellence, while driving forward in the evolving world of law.

Our faculty members are recognized nationally and internationally as leaders in their scholarly fields. We are the only independent law school to make the National Law Journal‘s latest list of “Go-To Law Schools,” a ranking based on having the largest percentage of graduates hired at the largest U.S. law firms as first-year associates. We are among the top U.S. law schools in practical training, thanks in no small part to our nationally renowned clinical program, one of the first of its kind.

We could not have achieved this or many of the accolades listed above without the generosity of a community that has also kept Brooklyn Law School’s mission of excellence front and center. Ensuring that those who want to pursue a legal education may do so here, irrespective of their background, is a critical part of that mission. For your role in helping our students fulfill their dreams, we extend our sincere gratitude.

Enjoy the stories of impact in the pages that follow.

Jason Jia ’11 shares the story of why he is honoring his former writing professor and helping make the dreams of immigrant students come true.

Morgan Kashinsky ’24 explains why it was worth it to forgo a few precious hours of sleep to join with fellow students to raise money on Giving Day.

Samuel Sporn ’53 shares how he forged a successful legal career in a country where he was once an undocumented immigrant and is paying that forward.

Jeffrey D. Forchelli ’69 reminisces about his favorite professors and explains why it was so important to endow two faculty chairs with the Forchelli name.

Peter Klausner ’66, a former night-school student, shares why he credits his successful (and star-studded) legal career to this institution.


Annie Nienaber's signature
Annie Nienaber
Chief Advancement Officer

gratitude for a caring professor

Jason Jia ’11

Jason Jia ’11 in blazer and turtleneck
Jason Jia ’11, managing partner of Jia Law Group in New York City, created the Jason Jia and Professor Barbara Gartner Scholarship to honor his Brooklyn Law School writing professor and to help immigrant law students.
Ask Jason Jia ’11 about his life and you’ll quickly recognize the arc of a classic American Dream story—one in which Brooklyn Law School played a pivotal role.

Jia is managing partner of his own midsize law firm, Jia Law Group, which he launched in 2018 and which employs nearly 45 full-time staff members, including eight attorneys who are Brooklyn Law alumni. Two of his law firm partners are friends he met at Brooklyn Law, fellow alumni Thomas Kung ’09 and Joseph Hamel ’11. The firm specializes in employment and immigration law.

“I saw a lot of international companies coming to New York City and setting up shop here, and bringing their teams here, and realized it was a big niche market that could use legal services,” Jia said.

Spotting opportunities is very much part of Jia’s upbringing, as is making sacrifices in the name of education. He was born in Beijing, and primarily raised by his grandmother in China after his parents emigrated to the United States to attend college when he was four years old. He didn’t see his mother or father again until nine years later, when he was able to join them at age 13. After arriving in the States, without knowing a word of English, he attended school in California, living with his mom after his parents divorced.

Morgan Kashinsky with group of students and Professor of Clinical Law Jonathan Askin
Morgan Kashinsky ’24 (front row, third from left), shown here with Professor of Clinical Law Jonathan Askin (front, fourth from left), helped lead efforts of the Brooklyn Law School chapter of Legal Hackers to raise money for Giving Day.

Students Go All in For Giving Day

Morgan Kashinsky ’24

Morgan Kashinsky ’24 has wanted to be a lawyer since age 16, and she wasted no time in building a résumé, with legal jobs in high school and college, followed by a post-graduate job as an executive assistant at Sullivan & Cromwell, just before starting at Brooklyn Law.

So, when Kashinsky first noticed Board of Trustees Chairman Frank Aquila ’83 offering a matching gift challenge to Giving Day, it caught her attention and prompted her to make a donation. Aquila, a partner and M&A attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell, had kindly agreed to share advice about Brooklyn Law School over coffee before she started school.

Among the many helpful suggestions she took from him was attending Business Boot Camp, where students take a four-day crash course in business and finance, featuring instruction and advice from alumni, faculty, and Board of Trustees members, including Aquila.

Immigrant Experience Inspires a Legacy of Generosity

Samuel Sporn ’53

Portrait photograph of Samuel Sporn '53 (right) in a dark navy blue button-up dress shirt and Ellen Sporn (left) in a white button-up dress shirt smiling and posing for a picture together hugging each other outside in the late evening
Samuel Sporn ’53 and Ellen Sporn, have been major financial supporters of Brooklyn Law School for more than 40 years.

Samuel P. Sporn ’53 moved to the United States from Montreal with his parents in 1932 as a boy. As a teenager, Sporn learned they had been living in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, as undocumented immigrants.

Sporn became a U.S. citizen, graduated high school at age 16, and began work in the mailroom of a textile company. Hoping to unlock a better career, he enrolled at Brooklyn College and was accepted two years later to Brooklyn Law School, where he became editor-in-chief of the Brooklyn Law Review, received the Dean William Payson Richardson scholarship award, and graduated as class valedictorian.

His long and successful career has spanned the public and private sectors, from serving in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) to founding the law firm Schoengold & Sporn, P.C., which specializes in securities law. Yet Sporn never forgot about his immigrant roots or Brooklyn Law School. He and his wife, Ellen, have been major financial supporters for 40-plus years.

“I’m forever grateful and beholden to Brooklyn Law School for accepting me,” said Sporn. “I’m proud of what I accomplished there and went on to accomplish in my life’s work as a lawyer.”

Helping Esteemed Faculty Flourish

Jeffrey D. Forchelli ’69

portrait of Jeffrey D. Forchelli
Jeffrey D. Forchelli ’69 is a member of the Brooklyn Law School Board of Trustees and managing partner of Forchelli Deegan Terrana.
The Forchelli family has long-standing ties to Brooklyn Law School as alumni and generous supporters. The most visible example is the Jeffrey D. Forchelli Conference Center at Feil Hall, with panoramic views of New York Harbor. But two endowed faculty chairs also bear the Forchelli name.

One, endowed in 2003, is named for Jeffrey D. Forchelli ’69, a member of the Brooklyn Law School Board of Trustees and managing partner of Forchelli Deegan Terrana, while the other, endowed in 2004, bears the name of his father, Don Forchelli ’31, who died when Jeffrey was 14.

“He was very proud of being a lawyer,” Jeffrey Forchelli said. “My grandparents came from Italy in 1902, and my father was first-generation American. They were really very proud that he became a lawyer. He was the star of the family, their oldest son.”

Brooklyn Law’s history is intertwined with three generations of Forchellis. Jeffrey’s uncle Vincent graduated Brooklyn Law in 1940, his cousin Charlie is a 1971 alumnus, and Jeffrey’s daughter Nicole graduated in 2007. “What I wanted to do with the faculty chairs is make the family name part of the history of the Law School,” Forchelli said.

From Night School to Legacy Society

Peter Klausner ’66

Peter Klausner headshot
Peter Klausner ’66 attended Brooklyn Law School’s night program, and specialized in trusts and estates. His clients included cast members from Law & Order.
Final law school exams are always high intensity, but for Peter Klausner ’66, who worked as an accountant by day and attended Brooklyn Law School by night, one test still stands out, 60 years later.

“My wife was at the doctor’s office and he sent her to the hospital because she was about to give birth,” Klausner recalled. “So, I went in and distractedly took the exam. When I got out, I found out I had a son.” 

Such nerve-jangling experiences were routine for Klausner, who nonetheless treasured the education he received while working in downtown Manhattan as a CPA, raising a family, and fulfilling a dream of becoming an attorney. The “C” or “D” on that criminal law exam was a rare academic blemish. 

“I remember getting all A’s in my first year, while studying for and passing the CPA exam. The next year, 1963, my daughter was born,” Klausner said. “I didn’t know whether I was coming or going.” 

Making An Impact With Your Philanthropy

upward view of the front of a Brooklyn Law School building
The fundamental mission of Brooklyn Law School is to provide its students with the knowledge, skills, and ethical values needed for a career in law. Realizing this vision would be impossible without the generosity of friends and supporters like you, who make a positive difference in the lives of our students and ensure the success of Brooklyn Law School. Your gifts help to fund scholarships, academic programs, and life-changing clinics, and they enable the Law School to recruit and retain top-tier faculty. Below are some examples of the ways donors choose to make an impact on some of the Law School’s highest funding priorities. Thank you for considering how you can make a difference with your philanthropic investment in Brooklyn Law School.
members of the Brooklyn Law APALSA stand together smiling for a picture in front of an APALSA event table
two event attendees smile in mid conversation
two women wearing Brooklyn Law School name tags stand together smiling for a photo
a woman and a man take a photo while holding either side of a sign that reads "I Gave! #BLSGivingDay"

Scholarship Support

By establishing a named scholarship, alumni and friends can provide meaningful support for Brooklyn Law students, either in their own name or to honor a loved one. You may consider one of the following options to create a named scholarship:

Opportunity Scholarships

Opportunity Scholarships make an immediate impact on diversity recruiting efforts by providing critical funds, over and above what is offered in financial aid and scholarship packages. These additional recruiting funds are often what make the financial difference between a student’s decision to pursue their legal education at Brooklyn Law School versus attending another school. Funds donated for Opportunity Scholarships are used entirely for student support until they are exhausted or renewed by additional gifts.
To learn more about giving back, contact:
Annie Nienaber, Chief Advancement Officer or 718-780-7516

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Thanks for reading our 2023 Impact Report!