Director of the Public Advocacy Center and Public Interest and Adjunct Professor of Law
In her capacity as the Director of Public Interest, Cate assists students in securing fellowships, internships, and jobs in the public interest legal field, as well as helping to create and connect students to pro bono initiatives across New York State. Cate serves 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.
In her role as Adjunct Professor of Law, Cate teaches a Human Trafficking class. The course examines human trafficking in the United States. Topics include the basics of New York State and the Federal Sex and Labor Trafficking Statutes, the history of New York State’s specialized Human Trafficking Courts, and the victim-defendant relationship. Students learn about trafficking-related policy movements, legislative changes, and post-conviction relief and immigration remedies for trafficking survivors.