Professor Richard Klein to Receive SALT Great Teacher Award

October 15, 2018

Touro Law Center Professor Richard D. Klein, the Bruce K. Gould Distinguished Professor of Law, will receive the 2019 Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) Great Teacher Award at their annual conference in January. The Award honors champions of SALT’s mission of justice, diversity and teaching excellence. 

Dean Harry Ballan stated, “Professor Klein is known for his steadfast dedication to students and graduates. He is wholeheartedly committed to criminal justice in every aspect – from activism to teaching. He has a passion for teaching and mentoring and has made a lasting impact on the lives of countless students. I am delighted that he will receive this much deserved recognition." 

Professor Klein began teaching at Touro Law 35 years ago when the school first opened. He teaches courses in Criminal Law, Advanced Criminal Law and International Human Rights. Professor Klein is a mentor to many students, working with students throughout their tenure in law school and after graduation. He also serves as faculty advisor to the Student Bar Association. In addition to his teaching and mentoring duties, Professor Klein hosts hot topic panels throughout the year to bring students together to discuss and learn about current events. The panel discussions draw large crowds of students and foster open dialogue and learning in a safe environment, often about topics that are controversial. 

Professor Klein combines his passion for human rights and inspiring students by teaching abroad in various countries. In each program he adapts his International Human Rights course to educate students about the specific country’s own history regarding human rights.

In addition to his school-based activities, Professor Klein is actively involved in working to improve indigent defense for the poor. One of his missions has been to help ensure that prosecutors nationwide abide by the American Bar Association’s Standards of Criminal Justice as well as increase funding for legal aid lawyers.

He earned masters and doctoral degrees in international affairs from Columbia University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Professor Klein was a Ford Foundation Fellow in International Development at both Harvard and Columbia Universities. Professor Klein worked for 10 years as a trial attorney with the Criminal Defense Division of the Legal Aid Society. He has taught international human rights law in China, India, Russia and Israel, and his scholarly publications have focused on the Constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel, Constitutional challenges to the death penalty and international human rights issues.

Touro Law colleague and friend Professor Eileen Kaufman stated, “The recipients of this award are an extraordinary group of teachers, chosen for their passion for teaching, their commitment to activism in support of social justice, and their ability to inspire and transform students. I cannot think of anymore more worthy of joining this distinguished group than Richard Klein.”

Eric Blumenson, Research Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School, stated, “Richard exemplifies the kind of dedicated, progressive and capable teacher SALT honors. His commitment to teaching the best course possible, however much effort is required, is unqualified. After teaching law for almost four decades, I have never discovered a law teacher who is more deserving of this SALT award than Richard.”

Professor Lisa Brodoff at Seattle University School of Law will also receive the award.


Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with programming developed to integrate the courtroom into the classroom, provide a one-of-a kind learning experience for law students, combining a rigorous curriculum taught by expert faculty with a practical courtroom experience. Touro Law is dedicated to providing hands-on learning that enables students to gain experience while offering much-needed legal services in the community.

Touro Law, which has an alumni base of more than 6,500, offers full- and part-time J.D. programs where students can earn a degree in 2, 3 or 4 years and provides four areas of concentration Additionally, Touro offers a hybrid, four-year FlexTime Program combining online and on campus learning. Touro Law offers several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates, including a new online LL.M. in Aging & Longevity Law. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.

About the Touro College and University System 
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has 30 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to:

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