William M. Brooks, J.D.

Bill Brooks, a NARPA member and supporter since the mid-1980s. He currently heads the Center for Justice, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. From 1988 to 2022, he was a Clinical Professor of Law at the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Cent. er at Touro College, in New York, where he was the Director of the Mental Disability Law Clinic (also known as the Civil Rights Litigation Law Clinic) and, since 2015, of the Immigration Law Clinic. He supervised law students and litigation of class actions and individual lawsuits, generally pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, on behalf of psychiatrically diagnosed individuals. From 1988-2014, the clinical program included a seminar component that focuses on lawyering skills and substantive issues of civil rights law.

Among the many key cases he has litigated, Professor Brooks was lead counsel in Rivers v. Katz, the landmark New York case that established that competent individuals have the right to refuse unwanted psychotropic drugs.

Professor Brooks received his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1976, and his J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1979. He is admitted to the Bar of New York and Federal District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Prior to his joining the Touro Law Center, he was with the Mental Hygiene Legal Service. He currently serves on the ABA Section for Individual Rights and Responsibilities.