Student Spotlight: Kristen Brown ’24

Tell us about your experience in the Civil Rights in the Criminal Legal System Clinic.

Kristen Brown
Kristen Brown ’24

The Civil Rights in the Criminal Legal System Clinic is dedicated to legal advocacy for those who have been harmed by incarceration and criminal supervision. Through the clinic, I had the opportunity to work with a man who had been horribly mistreated in a number of cruel and discriminatory ways throughout the criminal process. In pursuit of a legal remedy, we researched a variety of complex legal issues that could arise in his case and drafted a complaint on his behalf. I could see how Professor Karteron thoughtfully built a relationship with our client and his family, and how deeply they trusted her with his case.

We also met twice a week in a seminar, where we learned key civil rights case law, discussed our ongoing cases, and contemplated the responsibilities and limitations of public interest lawyering. Professor Karteron invited guest speakers throughout the semester, who spoke about careers in public defense, civil rights, and wrongful convictions work. This clinic has been the most impactful experience I’ve had in law school.

What has been your favorite law school class so far?

This spring, I’m taking the Race and the First Amendment Seminar, with Professor Emerson Sykes, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. Throughout the semester, we study how race and free speech intersect in a variety of contexts, discussing inclusive education bans, prison censorship, environmental activism, and many other important topics. We often study ongoing cases and recent legislation, which has been a welcome contrast to the broader law school curriculum.

What do you enjoy most about being in New York City?

As a law student, being in New York City provides so many opportunities to get involved off-campus. During my first year, I participated in extracurriculars through the Urban Justice Center and the National Lawyers Guild. This semester, I’m doing a term-time internship at New York County Defender Services. These experiences have kept me grounded in the reasons I came to law school, and have taught me so much!

New York City also has amazing food, even right by campus! Some of my favorites are Bao Teahouse, Spicy Moon, Morganstern’s Ice Cream, and 7th Street Burger (I’m vegetarian, but they have a great Impossible Smashburger!).

What is one thing that instantly makes your day better?

Every Friday, NYU Law’s soccer team, Learned Foot, gets together for pickup games. It is a really relaxing way to start the weekend, and so much fun to get to know other students totally outside the law school context!

Posted on March 29, 2023