Gina M. Calabrese
J.D., Fordham University.
Gina M. Calabrese is a Professor of Clinical Education and the Associate Director of the Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic (CJELC) at St. John's University School of Law. Professor Calabrese is also Co-Director of the Public Interest Center. Professor Gina Calabrese joined the St. John's faculty in 2001. In Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic, law students represent low-income, elderly residents of Queens County in a variety of consumer matters, especially consumer debt, foreclosure, deed theft, and home improvement contractor disputes.
Professor Calabrese has been active in efforts to protect consumers entangled in debt litigation, including advocacy to lawmakers and other officials, participation in amicus curiae briefs, and helping to establish the Queens CLARO office. She was a key advocate for the passage of New York's Exempt Income Protection Act, which prevents judgment creditors from wrongful seizure of Social Security and other judgment-exempt funds. In collaboration with several New York public interest attorneys, she co-authored the model legislation on which the law was based.
Professor Calabrese is widely recognized for her professional, policy, and scholarly achievements. Her co-authored article "Teaching Professionalism in Context: Insights from Students, Clients, Adversaries, and Judges," was published in the South Carolina Law Review. She has been active in efforts to protect consumers entangled in debt litigation, which increased substantially in New York City and throughout the country between 2000 and 2014. New York’s Exempt Income Protection Act, Her article about the New York's Exempt Income Protection Act was originally published in the Empire Justice Center’s electronic Legal Services Journal. Professor Calabrese is also a frequent speaker on consumer debt and clinical education issues and has testified at local, state, and federal hearings on debt collection matter.
After graduation from law school, Professor Calabrese was an associate with the Los Angeles law firm of Adams, Duque & Hazeltine, where, in addition to representing the firm’s corporate clients, she represented children in a number of pro bono matters and authored a book chapter in The Women's Legal Guide, Barbara R. Hauer, Ed. She later headed the Litigation Department of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a California consumer advocacy group. During her five years at the Foundation (1994-1999), she won significant courtroom, regulatory, and legislative victories for consumers in the area of fair insurance rates and practices. She began her clinical teaching career at Brooklyn Law School's Elder Law Clinic and Hofstra Law School’s Housing Rights Clinic.
Professor Calabrese has served on the Board of Directors of Catholic Migration Services since 2013. From 2014-2017, she served as Chair of the Civil Court Committee of New York City Bar Association. Under her leadership, the Committee developed official Association positions that identified barriers to justice in court operations, and proposed solutions to improve access to justice for individuals, especially those who are unrepresented. Professor Calabrese earned her B.A. from Columbia University (Columbia College) and her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.