A Legal Career Intersects with Health, Science, and Public Policy


Karen Porter is Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity and Associate Professor of Clinical Law at Brooklyn Law School, where she is Executive Director of Brooklyn Law School's Center for Health, Science, and Public Policy. She also serves as faculty director for the law school’s health law externship program. She has taught courses at Washington University Law School, Seton Hall Law School, Quinnipiac Law School, and the Graduate Program in Health Advocacy at Sarah Lawrence College. In the profile below, she discusses her career prior to teaching.

Prior to teaching, Porter held a post-doctoral fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center/The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Division of Bioethics. The highlight of the fellowship was the opportunity to participate in the on-site interdisciplinary clinical consultation service that provided analysis and recommendations on ethical issues related to patient care. In 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed her to the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law. The Task Force assists New York State in developing law and public policy on issues related to medicine and ethics and has produced reports on the cutting-edge issues of withholding and withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment, assisted reproductive technologies, organ transplantation, dietary supplements, assisted suicide, genetic testing, and the allocation of ventilators in an influenza pandemic.

Porter has particular interest in public health law and AIDS policy, starting fro­­­­­m her first job after graduating from Yale Law School where she served as a senior policy analyst and staff counsel to the National Commission on AIDS. This congressionally authorized commission was established to promote the development of a national consensus on AIDS. She credits Professor Harlon Dalton, who served as a congressionally appointed member of the Commission, for this opportunity.

Updated August 2021