Keri K. Gould

  • Professor

Professor Keri K. Gould has spent her legal career as a public interest and public service attorney advocating for her client’s civil liberties and human rights, especially for those who are disadvantaged by disability and/or socioeconomic forces, and her academic career creating, managing and teaching law school programs and courses designed to prepare students for lawyering in the present world through experiential education and real-life opportunities for law-related learning and reflection.

Professor Gould has recently returned to private practice in New Paltz, NY after over twenty years of law school academia. She continues to teach as an adjunct professor at Pace Law school. For fourteen years she was the Assistant Dean for Professional Skills, Professor of Clinical Education, and Director of the Center for Professional Skills at St. John’s University School of Law. At St. John’s, she created programs and courses that included the Externship Programs; Mental Health Law; Criminal Defense, Prosecution and Domestic Violence Litigation Clinics; Trial Advocacy Programs; the Polestino Trial Advocacy Institute (student organization dedicated to bringing training, education and competitions in trial skills to the law school community); and the National Civil Rights Trial Competition (annual national mock trial competition in civil rights law). In addition, since 2001, Professor Gould has taught courses in New York Law School’s Master’s Program in Mental Disability Law, including Mental Health Law and Issues in Criminal Law, Americans with Disabilities Act Course, Lawyering Skills in Mental Disability Law Practice (co-authoring the course book), and the Mental Disability Law Survey Course.

After graduating with a BS in Psychology from Union College, she was a special education teacher at a school for students with an array of behavioral and learning difficulties. She then went to law school to represent persons with mental disabilities.  While in law school, Ms Gould worked at the Mental Patient’s Rights Project of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the District of Columbia Guardian Ad Litem Program, the Center for Law and Education, Inc. in Boston, and the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, D.C. After graduation from The Washington College of Law, the American University, she became a criminal defense attorney for the Legal Aid Society (Manhattan CDD) and later represented institutionalized psychiatric patients for New York State’s Mental Hygiene Legal Service. In advocating for her clients, Ms Gould realized the importance of recognizing and responding to the economic, social and cultural issues that were part of her clients’ lives. Those experiences piqued her interest in therapeutic jurisprudence and the emotional effects laws and legal process have on all persons involved in social and legal systems.

Prof. Gould joined the St. John's faculty after teaching in the criminal defense and constitutional law clinics at Hofstra Law School, the Criminal Defense Clinic and trial advocacy at the University of Utah School of Law, and creating externship programs at New York Law School and Fordham Law Schools She has published numerous articles and is a frequent lecturer on clinical legal education, trial advocacy and extra-curricular student competitions and therapeutic jurisprudence. In addition to teaching, Professor Gould maintained a small practice in civil rights cases and criminal appeals.

Professor Gould is very interested in the global application of experiential education. She has served as a legal education expert consultant for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiatives. Professor Gould went to Oman in 2009, working with the Asst. Dean of the Qaboos University College of Law to write a proposal creating the first law school clinic in Oman, to Lebanon in 2008 working with professors at the Universite La Sagesse Law School in Beirut on strategic planning, curriculum development, skills training and the development of a new Human Rights Clinic, as well as creating and teaching courses in ethics and legal writing, and,  in 2006 Professor was in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where she designed an ethics course syllabus and lesson plans using interactive and participatory teaching methodologies. Most recently, she was a Legal Education and Observer and Participant (and photographer) for a week long course on Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention in Military Practice held in Krakow and Oswiecim (the town where the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps are located).  

In addition to legal opportunities, as an artist, Ms Gould uses photography and fiber creations as a way to capture patterns that create insights for transformation (see her photographs, thneeds and equine fly bonnets at and trains in classical dressage with her horse Layla.