Carbonaro Named Director of The Public Advocacy Center and Public Interest

January 18, 2023

Dean Elena B. Langan is pleased to announce the appointment of Cate Carbonaro as Director of the Public Advocacy Center and Public Interest at Touro Law. In her role, Carbonaro will work directly with students engaged in pro bono projects, supervise the Pro Bono Scholars Program, and serve as Director of the William Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center at Touro.

“Cate is poised to make an impact on our students, school community, and the greater Long Island community,” stated Dean Langan. “I am confident that her background and experience coupled with her passion for justice and public service will have an immediate and lasting effect.”

In her capacity as the Director of Public Interest, Cate will assist students in securing fellowships, internships, and jobs in the public interest legal field, as well as help create and connect students to pro bono initiatives across New York State. Cate will serve as advisor to the Public Interest Law Organization of Touro (PILOT). 

Cate is also the Director of Touro Law Center’s William Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center (PAC). The first PAC was created by Touro Law in 2007 to bring together non-profit legal advocacy agencies to provide services to the community while providing opportunities for students to participate in pro bono work and gain hands-on legal training. In 2023, with Cate at the helm, the PAC is being re-opened and reimagined with a focus on holistic community centered access to justice. The PAC is housed in a new 20,000 square foot building on the law school campus that also includes classrooms and faculty and administrative offices. The PAC will support the community by providing legal assistance, counseling, housing help, support for domestic violence and trafficking victims, and reentry support, as well as connections to other access to justice initiatives. 

Cate received her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law and previously worked at The Legal Aid Society as a public defender in the Exploitation Intervention Project (EIP). EIP is the first effort within a public defender’s office to work with criminalized survivors. Cate represented criminalized survivors who have experienced gender-based violence, including domestic violence, and labor and sex trafficking, in their criminal cases.

Cate has presented at national conferences including, The Freedom Network Conference and The Annual Conference on Transgender Health. Cate also facilitated trainings to increase awareness and implement best practices among criminal justice stakeholders; she also created and lead Know Your Rights presentations throughout the community and in the Transgender Housing Unit in the NYC jail system. During the height of the COVID pandemic, Cate worked with grassroots organizations to help support mutual aid efforts for clients in need. 

Cate states, “I am incredibly excited to have joined Touro Law Center. I will bring my passion for public interest law, and experience working with victims of gender-based violence and criminalized survivors to our law students. The students and I, together with our PAC partners, will work tirelessly to serve our community - fighting for access to justice, and building upon Touro's legacy as a leader in the public interest legal space on Long Island.”

Touro University 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 JD programs where students can earn a degree in 3 or 4 years. Additionally, Touro offers a hybrid, four-year FlexTime JD Program combining online and on campus learning. Touro Law offers several dual degree programs and a graduate law program for foreign law graduates. Touro Law Center is part of Touro University.

Touro University – Touro University 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 19,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro has 35 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Illinois, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and Touro University Nevada; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois are separately accredited institutions within Touro University. For more information, visit

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