Clara Bergnier’s area of expertise is immigration law. Clara has been working at Columbus Consulting Group, a business and immigration consultancy firm based in New York and San Francisco, for four years. First Paralegal then Legal Affairs Manager, Clara recently became the Managing Director of the main New York office after running the group’s temporary Paris office for a year. Clara has a background in French, European, and international law. She earned a Bachelor of Laws from the Catholic University of Lille (France) in 2016, specializing in European and International law, followed by a Master of Laws from Fordham University School of Law in 2020, specializing in International Law and Justice. Clara’s admission to the New York bar is pending.
Justine Borer is an instructor in the Legal English Institute. She received her A.B. cum laude from Harvard College and her J.D. from UCLA School of Law. She is an active member of the New York State Bar. In her law practice, which she has maintained since 2013, she focuses on matrimonial law. Since 2017, Ms. Borer's professional focus has been teaching at the undergraduate level. She currently teaches in the Philosophy Departments at Hunter College and John Jay College. In previous semesters, she taught in the English Department at Manhattan College and in the Academic Writing Department at Marymount Manhattan College. She has extensive experience teaching students who are non-native English speakers.
Ms. Borer has frequently written about topics in family and matrimonial law in both national media outlets and peer-reviewed publications. She is the founder and organizer of the discussion series Philosophy-in-Manhattan, which is led by philosophy scholars and open to the public. Since 2019, Ms. Borer has assisted low-income parties with uncontested divorces and Family Court matters as a volunteer in the New York State Unified Court System's Access to Justice Program. For her work in that capacity, she received a Certificate of Distinguished Service.
Kurt M. Denk
Kurt M. Denk has served as Executive Director of the City Bar Justice Center since March 2021, having joined the organization as Pro Bono Counsel in 2018. A division of the City Bar Fund – the nonprofit philanthropic affiliate of the New York City Bar Association – the Justice Center expands access to justice by providing high-quality, free civil legal services to New Yorkers who struggle with poverty and other forms of social and economic vulnerability. Mr. Denk leads a staff of 30 professionals who annually assist roughly 25,000 clients through the Justice Center’s dozen civil legal services projects targeting unmet or emerging needs often not covered by other providers. The Justice Center also trains, mentors, and matches over 1,000 pro bono attorneys annually with Justice Center clients in need, leveraging over $15 million of free legal services each year thanks to the Justice Center’s expansive pro bono partner network.
As the Justice Center’s Pro Bono Counsel from 2018-2021, Mr. Denk built and strengthened relationships with law firms, in-house legal departments, solo lawyers, students and other stakeholders to support and staff pro bono cases and initiatives from the Justice Center’s dozen civil legal services projects. He also worked with Justice Center colleagues and community partners to develop innovative interdisciplinary legal services programming to advance racial equity and access to justice, including the Justice Center’s robust COVID-19 response initiatives, and has developed and delivered Continuing Legal Education courses in a variety of areas, including in diversity, inclusion and the elimination of bias for pro bono attorneys.
Prior to joining the Justice Center, Mr. Denk practiced general civil and complex commercial litigation at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, where he maintained an active pro bono docket on behalf of diverse clients and causes, such as representing asylum seekers and public benefits recipients and co-drafting amicus briefs in support of marriage equality and other LGBTQ rights matters, including before the U.S. Supreme Court.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Mr. Denk also has an M.A. in Philosophy from Fordham University, a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology, and a B.A. in History from Georgetown University. Following law school, Mr. Denk clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and taught at Boston College Law School. He also has taught at Fordham School of Law and Loyola University Maryland, and has worked in ministry and restorative justice programs at San Quentin State Prison in California.
Toni Jaeger-Fine, Co-Director
Toni Jaeger-Fine is an Assistant Dean at Fordham Law School. She has taught or lectured domestically and in Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Dean Jaeger-Fine is the author of numerous articles on a wide range of topics published in the United States and abroad, as well as several books: Becoming a Lawyer: Discovering and Defining Your Professional Persona; American Legal Systems: A Resource and Reference Guide; An Introduction to the Anglo-American Legal System (which has been translated into Italian, Korean, and Portuguese), The U.S. LL.M.: From Whether to When, What, Where, and How; and Mastering the U.S. Legal System. Dean Jaeger-Fine blogs online at YourProfessionalPersona.com. She is a regular speaker to delegations hosted by the U.S. Department of State, Senior Counselor to the International Section of the Federal Bar Association, and an application reader for the Schwarzman Scholars program.
Previously, Dean Jaeger-Fine served as associate director of the global law program at NYU School of Law. She was twice a Fulbright Senior Specialist Program grant recipient, and is past chair of the sections on Post-Graduate Legal Education, International Legal Exchange, and Legal Education for Foreign Lawyers of the Association of American Law Schools. Dean Jaeger-Fine was associated with the law firm of Crowell & Moring in Washington, D.C., where her practice focused on commercial, appellate, and administrative litigation. She is a cum laude graduate of Duke Law School and received her B.A. from Harpur College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Gary Kaufman has been practicing in the area of Criminal Defense since graduating from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2006. Mr. Kaufman spent his first seven years of practice working as a public defense attorney in Orlando, Florida, Staten Island, New York, and at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem in Manhattan. In 2013, he began the Law Office of Gary Kaufman, PLLC, where he represents clients facing a wide variety of criminal charges in the state and federal courts of New York and New Jersey. Mr. Kaufman also represents students facing discipline at the high school and collegiate levels. He has tried dozens of cases and is a skilled advocate both in and out of the courtroom. Mr. Kaufman has received training at the National Criminal Defense College and has taught Continuing Legal Education classes on New York Criminal Law Practice 101, Arraignment Advocacy, Drunk Driving Defense, Grand Jury Practice, and Judicial Diversion for Narcotics Felonies. Mr. Kaufman has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers and a top 40 under 40 Criminal Defense Attorney in New York by the National Trial Lawyers. He is active in the New York City Bar Association serving as a member of the Criminal Courts Committee and as the Chair of the Small Law Firm Committee.
Altin Nonaj is the founder of Nonaj Law. He advises domestic and international clients on business immigration and corporate transactional matters. He earned his Dottore in Giurisprudenza from the University of Padova in Italy and his Master of Laws from Fordham Law School with a concentration in Banking, Corporate, and Finance Law.
Mr. Nonaj has successfully established domestic companies, facilitated the issuance of visas and green cards under federal laws, and has negotiated various corporate agreements. Mr. Nonaj has a unique understanding of both the US and EU legal systems and is an extraordinary resource for national and international clients trying to enter those markets.
Mr. Nonaj is an active member of FALDEF, a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping international students with various legal issues. He has published on the crime of genocide under international criminal law.
Rodrigo Sadi is a partner at McLaughlin & Stern LLP in the area of U.S. and international corporate law, representing clients predominantly based in Latin America, including commercial businesses, financial institutions, asset management companies, private equity funds, family offices and high net worth individuals in their activities worldwide. He also has extensive experience in M&A transactions and drafting commercial agreements between private companies, in particular with regard to cross-border transactions between companies in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Admitted to practice in New York and Brazil, Mr. Sadi is fluent in Portuguese and English and can speak some Spanish.
Mr. Sadi holds an LL.M. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and is LL.B degree from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo.
Laura Shields, Co-Director
Laura Shields is a Director in the Office of International and Non-JD Programs at Fordham Law School, where she co-directs the Legal English Institute, Summer Institute, Pre-Law Institute, and other short-term international and executive education programming. She also assists with the coordination of the study abroad, student exchange, and visiting foreign scholars and research fellows programs, as well as some non-JD graduate programs. Laura has been involved in lawyer education for the majority of her career, serving for ten years in various roles at Practising Law Institute, most recently as Vice President of Programs, and she served as Assistant Director of Research and Development and Assistant Staff Director at the American Law Institute-American Bar Association (now ALI CLE). Laura practiced law in a litigation firm and legal services organization in Philadelphia, has worked in the university setting as a planned giving officer, and has consulted with organizations including the New York Open Center. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Villanova University School of Law.
Marty Slavens is the Director of Graduate Admissions in the Office of International and Non-J.D. Programs. Originally from San Diego County, he has worked and studied in Arcata, CA, Xi'an, China, Urbana, IL, and Bowling Green, OH prior to moving to New York with his partner, Yiju Huang, an Assistant Professor in the department of Modern Languages and Literature at Fordham University, and their daughter, Ruru. Mr. Slavens earned his MA in East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a focus on Mandarin and contemporary Chinese literature. He earned his JD from the University of Illinois, College of Law and is a member of the State Bar of California.
Sergio Torres is a corporate associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York and a member of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity and Latin America Groups. He works on domestic and cross-border acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures for, private equity, venture capital and other corporate clients.
In 2019, Mr. Torres was a speaker in the Private Equity Master Class of the Global Private Equity Conference organized by the International Finance Corporation and the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association in Washington, D.C., where he discussed “Structuring and Governance of Private Equity M&A Deals in Emerging Markets.” In 2016, he co-authored the article “Breves anotações sobre derivativos e securitização no Brasil” (Notes on derivatives and securitization in Brazil) published by Revista de Direito Empresarial.
Mr. Torres joined Debevoise in 2016. From 2011 to 2015, he was a senior M&A counsel with Itaú Unibanco S.A., where he advised the financial conglomerate in domestic and cross-border M&A transactions in the insurance, financial and technology sectors, as well as in corporate governance matters, private equity, and fund investments. Mr. Torres worked as legal counsel at Louis Dreyfus Commodities from 2010 to 2011, advising the Louis Dreyfus companies in the “North LatAm” region in structured transactions, trade finance and international trade, and at Mexichem Brasil from 2008 to 2009. Mr. Torres was an international associate at Debevoise from 2013 to 2014.
Mr. Torres received an LL.M. from Stanford Law School in 2016, and his law degree from University of Blumenau, Brazil, in 2008. He also received an M.B.A. in Taxation from Fundação Getulio Vargas in 2009, and post-graduate degrees in International Trade from Instituto Internacional de Ciências Sociais in 2011, and corporate law from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo in 2013.
Mr. Torres is admitted to the New York State Bar and the Brazilian Bar Association. He is fluent in Portuguese and English and proficient in Spanish.