Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy
J.D. ’92

The Honorable Tanya R. Kennedy is a Supreme Court Justice and former Supervising Judge of Civil Court, New York County. Upon her election to Civil Court in 2005, Justice Kennedy has presided in the Criminal and Civil Courts of the City of New York, as well as the Family and Supreme Courts of the State of New York. Since 2006, she has taught a juvenile justice seminar course as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law.

Prior to joining the judiciary, Justice Kennedy served as Principal Law Clerk to former Associate Justice Barry A. Cozier in the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department. She also served as Principal Law Clerk to Justice Cozier in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County. Justice Kennedy commenced her legal career at the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel, where she worked in both the Bronx Family Court and Bronx Tort Divisions and was promoted to Deputy Assistant Chief while assigned to the Tort Division.

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Kari Cohen
'09

Current Job: Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center

En route to graduating from Cardozo in 2009, Kari Cohen interned for a number of law firms, including Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, and other entities such as the National Hockey League and Blue Equity, a private equity firm which managed SFX Tennis and Joel Segal's Worldwide Football Agency. Ms. Cohen was also the recipient of Cardozo's Floersheimer Fellowship for Constitutional Democracy. These experiences exposed her sports law and invaluable mentors such as Jessica Berman, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at the NHL, and Jeff Gewirtz, Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Legal Officer for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center.  

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Zachary S. Beal
J.D. 2016

Undergraduate College: Tulane University, B.A. in Political Science with minor in Jewish Studies (Cum Laude).

Program affiliations: Served as Student Bar Association (“SBA”) President. As a student representative and as a leader in the Cardozo Community, I successfully planned events ranging from the annual Cardozo Blood Drive to an extremely fun Barristers Ball. I was also a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Team, a Staff Editor on the Art & Entertainment Law Journal and a Tour Guide at Cardozo.

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Len Benowich
'79

Current Job: Benowich Law, LLP, Founding Partner

Len has more than 30 years of experience as a litigator in the practice areas of corporate and commercial law, partnership, real estate, employment and other business disputes. He also represents and counsels senior executives in employment matters including contract negotiations, separation agreements, termination, discrimination and compensation claims.

Since 1996, Len has maintained his own practice in Westchester and New York. In addition to his private practice, Len serves as a mediator for the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and is available to provide mediation services to parties in private disputes.

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Barbara Kolsun
'82

Current Job: Adjunct Professor of Fashion Law at Cardozo and co-director of Cardozo’s FAME program (Fashion, Art, Media and Entertainment).

Barbara is an adjunct Professor of Fashion Law at Cardozo and is the editor of Fashion Law: A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives and Attorneys, now in its second edition and the soon-to-be-released first casebook on Fashion Law published by Carolina Press. She is co-director of Cardozo’s newly minted FAME program (Fashion, Art, Media and Entertainment).

Barbara developed the first joint JD/MBA course in Fashion Law and Business at NYU Law and Stern Business School. She started the legal departments at three “startups”—Kate Spade, Seven for All Mankind and Stuart Weitzman—and was the first General Counsel at all three companies. She was Assistant GC at Calvin Klein Jeans and Westpoint Stevens and has probably been through more mergers than most lawyers in the fashion business.

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William M. Greenblatt
'82

Current Job: Founder and Chairman of SterlingBackcheck

William is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of the background screening industry. As the founder and chairman of SterlingBackcheck, one of the world’s largest screening companies, he has fundamentally transformed the way companies, both large and small, hire and retain the best talent for their organizations.

SterlingBackcheck began as a mystery shopping service before evolving into a polygraph examinations company in 1975. By the mid-1980s, regulatory changes forced SterlingBackcheck to reinvent itself as an employment screening company. In the years that followed, Bill has led the company with a clear vision for disruptive transformation and a strong commitment to technology.

SterlingBackcheck has completed nine acquisitions in the past seven years and now has more than 3,000 employees in ten cities around the world. Most recently, Goldman Sachs and CDPQ made significant investments in the company, fueling its strategy of global expansion and industry leadership.

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Eric Cohen
'83

Current Job: Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel of Terex Corporation

Eric's responsibilities as SVP and GC include managing all global legal affairs, SEC matters, product safety, ethics and compliance. Eric is also a member of Terex's senior executive leadership team, participating in the general management, strategy, and administrative aspects of Terex’s business.

Terex Corporation is a Fortune 500 company whose shares are listed on The New York Stock Exchange. Terex is a global manufacturer of a broad range of lifting material handling equipment for use in various industries, including the construction, infrastructure, quarrying, light mining, shipping, transportation, refining, and utility industries.

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Ed Klaris
'92

Current Job: Managing Director at investment bank DeSilva & Philips and founder of advisory service Klaris IP

After graduating from Cardozo in 1992, Klaris worked as part of the much lauded media team at Davis Wright Tremaine, litigating cases involving BusinessWeek and Rolling Stone. His next stop was an in-house role at ABC News, where he advised broadcast legends like Peter Jennings, Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer before being offered the senior legal role at the New Yorker. After 6 years as general counsel there, he was elevated to a senior vice president position at parent company Condé Nast, where he managed a team of 50, made deals in more than two dozen countries, bought and sold global media brands, and created entirely new digital platforms.

Ed teaches Media Law as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and serves as Chairman of the Board of Pilobolus, a prominent arts organization.

 

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Andrew Hannibal
'12

Current Job: Counsel at Sesame Workshop

Two words that describe Andrew: tenacious and optimistic. He has held more than half a dozen diverse legal jobs in the three years since he earned his degree, culminating in his brand-new position as counsel at Sesame Workshop. The trajectory may not be traditional or linear, but Andrew has managed to convert what could be considered a liability into an asset.

“When I graduated, the legal industry was in a tough place,” he says. “In order to progress as a young attorney, I had to accept opportunities, whether they were temporary, low-pay, or no-pay, which I knew would allow me to amass practical, transferable skills.  During interviews, I emphasized this transferability of skills while explaining my legal career journey, which included several temporary contract and volunteer jobs.  In the end, experience is experience.”

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Debbie Silberman
'10

Current Job: Brooklyn Public Defender

Undergraduate College: Barnard College, Columbia University

As an undergrad at Barnard, Debbie played goalie on the Columbia varsity hockey team. In retrospect, that should have tipped her off about the kind of lawyer she’d turn out to be.

She entered Cardozo with the goal of becoming a courtroom litigator – probably a prosecutor – and interned for the Kings Country District Attorney during her second year at law school. As it turned out, however, an internship at a criminal defense firm during her final year made all the difference. She started her career at Brooklyn Public Defenders after graduation and has never looked back. “After working in defense for just a short period,” Debbie says, “I knew I had found the right practice area.”

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