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Marra Guttenplan

Adjunct Professor
J.D., Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
B.A., Duke University

Marra Guttenplan joined the St. John’s community in 2015 as the Assistant Director of Global Student Services for the SJU Office of Global Studies, and to teach select Law School courses. 

During the Spring 2015 Semester, Guttenplan developed the curriculum for and taught the inaugural semester of American Law & Discourse Analysis: Intro to Legal Writing & Analysis I.  In this course, foreign-trained law students learned the fundamental components of legal writing and analysis to communicate with U.S. law firm colleagues and clients through email, client letters and legal memoranda for both litigation and transactional practice.  During the Fall 2015 Semester, Guttenplan will teach Contract: Drafting in the J.D. program.

Guttenplan has a breadth of experience in the higher education, nonprofit and private legal sectors – focusing on global education, international human rights, corporate social responsibility, philanthropy and corporate law.

From 2009 to 2015, through roles at the American Jewish Committee’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, EarthRights International and Burma Issues-PeaceWay Foundation, Guttenplan’s international human rights advocacy centered on:

  • Promoting law reform and human rights in Burma with a focus on the extractive industry, child soldiers, and ethnic and religious minorities (including two years working with nongovernmental organizations along the Thailand-Burma border);
  • Strengthening UN human rights mechanisms related to North Korea, Iran and Burma;
  • Increasing the role of human rights in U.S. government policy, with a focus on women’s rights, prisoners of conscience and religious freedom; and
  • Providing grants to innovative nonprofits and academic institutions; and advising grantees on effective project design and implementation, as well as leveraging metrics to secure additional funding. 

Earlier, Guttenplan was a corporate attorney for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.  Her practice focused on representing both public and private companies in mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financings and capital market transactions.  Guttenplan’s practice further included real estate, employment and intellectual property matters for private company clients.

As adjunct faculty for the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law legal writing program, Guttenplan improved methodology for critiquing students’ writing assignments, and developed guidelines for faculty preparation of assignments focusing on appellate court advocacy.  

Currently, at SJU’s Office of Global Studies, Guttenplan supports and promotes study abroad through empowering students to strengthen cultural competence; bolstering risk management and emergency response related to student health, safety and judicial issues; managing the pre-departure process; conducting recruitment and liaising with families.