News
Touro Law Welcomes New Assistant Dean for Student Services
Posted On August 10, 2017
Touro Law Dean Harry Ballan is pleased to announce that Dr. Althea J. Sterling has been appointed As... Read More
Touro Law Graduate Employment Stats at 10 Year High
Posted On June 20, 2017
Touro Law Dean Harry Ballan is pleased to announce that the ABA reported employment statistics for t... Read More
Touro Law Students Named Catalyst Fellows
Posted On June 15, 2017
Three Touro Law Center students are beginning their careers in public service this summer with the s... Read More
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Alumni Spotlight

Dehai Zhang Class of 2000
 
As a native of China, Dehai Zhang’s earliest desires to become an attorney began with watching American movies about lawyers and realizing that he wanted to become more educated about the American legal system. Ultimately, it was his desire to make a difference in people’s lives that pushed him to apply to law school. He attributes the decision to select Touro Law specifically in part to Dr. Susan Thompson, Touro Law Center Director of Enrollment, whom he met at a Law School Forum in Boston in 1996. Dehai recalls, “she gave a very persuasive and warm-hearted introduction about Touro Law Center. She is very knowledgeable, super-friendly.” He decision to apply was reaffirmed by his discovery that Touro Law Center offers first class legal education with convenient access to comprehensive court systems just across the street.
 
The decision to attend law school signaled a drastic career change and did not come easy to Dehai. He was teaching English in a college in China before obtaining his Master’s degree in Theological Studies. He states, “I now realize that those experiences laid a necessary foundation for me to study law and I would readily take the same journey again. I believe that when one loses passion for his or her current career path, it is time for a change.” Legal practice requires a tremendous amount of rational and passion but he finds it wholly rewarding in terms of being able to make a difference in people’s lives. He first felt the satisfaction of being able to help others while working as a teaching assistant in Contracts as part of Touro Law’s Legal Education Access Program (LEAP). The experience gave him the opportunity to utilize what he had learned in class to help other minority students academically.
 
Dehai passed the bar exam in the summer of 2000 and has been practicing law since January 2001. He had a judicial clerkship clinic with The Honorable Ralph Costello in Supreme Court, Suffolk County, where he observed trials and drafted two opinions, and an internship with Fine Hummel P.C. in Huntington, NY specializing in intellectual property. He currently runs his own practice in Flushing, NY. In part, Dehai credits the education he received at Touro Law for the fact that the Law Offices of Dehai Zhang have successfully handled numerous federal Court of Appeals cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Third Circuit, Seventh Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Tenth Circuit, and asylum and immigration cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals. One of the cases, Wang v. Attorney General 423 F.3d 260 (3rd Cir.2005), held that judges “have a responsibility to function as neutral and impartial arbiters and must assiduously refrain from becoming advocates for either party” and was covered on the front page of the New York Times on December 26, 2005. The report in the New York Times, and a report by ABC News, among other things, prompted then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to launch a nationwide review of the immigration court system and issue two memos, ordering all 200 or so immigration judges to treat every alien in court with courtesy and respect, according to ABC News. The Wang case has been widely cited when judicial impartiality is being called into question.
 
Dehai continues to work on developing passion in various areas. He advises current law students to “always respect and consider other people's opinion no matter how different they are from yours, never be afraid of speaking your own mind.”

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