Category Archives: 2016

Tanisha McKnight

Tanisha S. McKnight is a 2004 graduate of Brooklyn Law School. She began her legal career with The Legal Aid Society where she worked both in their Criminal Defense Division and Juvenile Rights Practice for a number of years. In 2009, Ms. McKnight became The Children’s Law Center of New York's (CLC) first Director of Paralegal & Volunteer Services. In addition to managing the city-wide paralegal team, she practices law in a number of areas including custody, visitation, domestic violence and child protective proceedings. She is also responsible for developing and managing CLC’s volunteer programs, which includes forming internship partnerships and recruitment with local high schools, universities and law schools, the development of CLC’s pro bono practice and law firm relationships. Additionally, she supervises CLC’s Securing Seamless Education Services (SSES) education advocacy project and jointly manages CLC’s Broken Adoption Project. In 2019 Ms. McKnight became a Deputy Director of Appeals, Paralegal & Volunteer Services where Ms. McKnight is now responsible for strategic planning and developing systems to enhance efficiency and effective utilization of resources within the organization.  She continues to present at schools, conferences and forums on the current issues facing family law practitioners and provides motivational talks to students considering entering the legal profession. She was honored as one of the New York Law Journal’s Rising Stars of 2015. 

Justina Rivera

Justina is an experienced trial attorney who focuses her practice in the areas of complex torts and toxic tort litigation, products liability, medical malpractice and general commercial litigation. She serves as outside counsel to the City of New York Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel, where she served as an Assistant Borough Chief, Senior Counsel, and trial attorney in the Tort Division prior to joining Harris Beach. During her time at the Law Department Justina successfully defended the City of New York, its composite agencies and employees in civil litigation and trials in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Tort Units. During her tenure, she was also an active member of The Law Department's Committee on Diversity Recruitment and Retention. Prior to joining the Law Department, Justina began her career at the NYC administration for Children’s Services, where she prosecuted parents who were alleged to abuse and neglect their children.

Conway Ekpo

Conway Ekpo is in-house counsel at Morgan Stanley where he is an Executive Director covering the firm's international Wealth Management business which has over $2.2 trillion in assets under management. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he was in-house counsel at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he was part of the legal team tasked with advising the bank's Global Wealth & Investment Management line of business. Conway is also an adjunct professor of law at Rutgers School of Law, where he teaches a course on New York civil procedure. Prior to transitioning in-house, Conway practiced financial services litigation as an associate at Hogan Lovells US LLP, Riker Danzig LLP and the New York office of Heller Ehrman LLP.

Conway was the recipient of the New York City Bar Association’s 2016 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award, the Garden State Bar Association's 2016 Young Lawyer Award, and the Nigerian Lawyers Association’s 2016 Rising Star Award all in recognition for his efforts as a founding member of 1844. 1844 is a group of black male lawyers practicing in New York City in large law firms and in-house legal departments for Fortune 500 companies; the group’s name "1844" is in reference to the year that the first black person, Macon Bolling Allen, was admitted to practice law in America.

Conway was selected as a 2016 Fellow in the Council of Urban Professionals. He currently serves on the National and Northeast Advisory Boards as well as the National Moot Court Board of Advisors for the National Black Law Students Association and is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge.

Conway earned his B.S. in architectural engineering at the University of Kansas and his J.D. at Rutgers School of Law where he was Managing Editor of the Rutgers Law Review.

Carl Forbes, Jr.

Carl Forbes Jr. is the Founder and Principal Attorney of Carl Forbes Jr. Law Firm PLLC, a general service New York law firm with an emphasis on Real Estate, Estate Planning, Probate & Estate Administration, and Estate Litigation. Carl is the President-Elect of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School where he co-teaches Pretrial Advocacy and Negotiating, Counseling & Interviewing. He is also an experienced real estate investor and licensed real estate broker. 

Carl has been rated as a 2019 and 2020 New York Metro Rising Star by Super Lawyers and recognized as 2016 and 2017 Empire State Counsel by the New York State Bar Association for his commitment to pro bono legal work. Carl is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (Queens Alumni Chapter). Carl received his B.A., cum laude, in Philosophy, Politics & Law from Binghamton University, and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. 

Carl previously worked as a Senior Associate in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department at Proskauer Rose LLP where he represented corporate clients in a wide range of complex commercial litigation and pre-litigation matters, particularly high-stakes cases involving antitrust, financial services, intellectual property, non-disclosure agreements, and sports. During his time at Proskauer, Carl served as the co-chair of the Black Lawyer Affinity Group. 

Carl also previously worked as Special Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Office of Corporation Counsel, New York City Law Department. He worked in the Brooklyn Tort Division where he defended the City of New York in personal injury, property damage and police matters. 

A Brooklyn-born Jamaican-American, Carl lives in East Flatbush with his wife, Dawn, and their dog, Marley.

Bronx Food Drive and CLE

A series of one hour CLE programs. The proceeds and canned food goods were donated to the Bronx Office of the Family Justice Center, a program of New York City government that combats domestic violence. 

MBBA Holiday Party

MBBA Black Friday Holiday Party at the Paper Factory.  We celebrated, toasted and danced the night away!

Bronx I Am A Solution

The MBBA continued the "I Am A Solution" series by traveling to the Bronx  looking to engage community members, and identify legal and legislative solutions that will reduce the violence in our communities.

Criminal Justice: Mental Health Panel Discussion

The MBBA Criminal Law Section in conjunction with the Brooklyn Law School Black Law Student Association hosted a panel discussion, Where Mental Health Meets Criminal Justice: Rising to the Challenges. The panelist included Judges, Professors, and Directors of social justice organizations.