Brooklyn Law Student advocates for justice, achieves significant resentencing victory

August 9, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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On Friday, Aug. 4, Brooklyn Law School’s Rahmel Robinson, a dedicated student of the Criminal Defense and Advocacy Clinic (CDAC), achieved a significant legal victory at Albany County Court with real life consequences.

Rahmel Robinson, a rising legal talent at Brooklyn Law School, who recently secured a groundbreaking resentencing victory at Albany County Court.
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Law School

Collaborating with Professor Kate Mogulescu and backed by recent BLS graduates Gregory Chang and Taylor Ramirez, Robinson championed the cause of an incarcerated survivor of domestic violence.

Through their persistent efforts, they secured her immediate release under the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act, effectively shaving nearly a decade off her potential sentence and removing the specter of a lifetime in prison.

This case is just one of many successes for the CDAC, which has achieved 11 resentencing wins in a span of three years across ten New York counties, emphasizing their unyielding commitment to justice.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Robinson’s work at CDAC goes beyond standard student duties. Under the supervision of legal professionals, he delves deep into life histories, conducts witness interviews, and drafts pivotal legal affidavits, all in pursuit of justice for those he represents.

Outside the clinic, Robinson continues to make waves in the legal world. His role as a summer associate at the esteemed Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP stands as proof of his burgeoning prowess in the legal realm.

The CDAC at Brooklyn Law School, under the leadership of Professors Mogulescu and Elizabeth Isaacs, prioritizes defense work in the context of broader social and political movements. CDAC challenges prevailing norms within the criminal legal system, emphasizing issues surrounding survivors of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation.

The clinic’s keystone initiative, the Survivors Justice Project (SJP), established in 2020, is an interdisciplinary team focused on decarcerating domestic violence survivors in line with the New York State Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act. SJP aids imprisoned survivors through various legal avenues, like resentencing applications and parole advocacy. While mastering the intricacies of criminal law, students of CDAC are exposed to the intertwined challenges of race, gender, and incarceration in the criminal justice system, and are trained to approach cases holistically.

The clinic, initiated in 2017, has been instrumental in handling prostitution-related cases, aiding human trafficking survivors by expunging almost 400 convictions from their records. Presently, the CDAC’s focus is on the landmark sentencing reform of 2019, where they’ve achieved several pivotal resentencing decisions for survivors.


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