New CUNY Law Faculty Reflect Borough’s Diversity

David Brand

When students return to CUNY School of Law later this month, they will encounter a new cohort of professors who, like them, reflect the diversity of Queens and New York City.

The nine new CUNY School of Law tenure-track faculty members, mostly women and people of color, are experts in various sectors of public interest and human rights law. Their impressive achievements include testifying before Congress and the U.K. Parliament, working on various continents and producing a documentary on workers’ rights.

CUNY alums Lisa Davis, Allie Robbins and John Whitlow join the tenure-track faculty along with attorneys Nermeen Arastu, Fareed Nassor Hayat, Chaumtoli Huq, Jeena Shah, and Charisa Smith.

Dean Mary Lu Bilek praised the new faculty members.

“CUNY Law is flourishing,” Bilek said in a statement. “This year, we welcome our largest ever class of incoming students as well as nine new tenure-track faculty — each with a distinguished record as teacher, activist, organizer and scholar.”

Judge Jenny Rivera and Judge James C. Francis also join CUNY Law as adjunct professors.

“The accomplishments of our new faculty members mirror the aspirations of our students — to use the law as a tool for social change and to practice law in the service of human needs.” Bilek said. “We look forward to the increased opportunities this growth will bring to work with our community and university partners to advance justice in the borough, the city, the state and beyond.”