Kathy Bergin

Adjunct Professor of Law
Contact Information
Cornell Law School
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901

Email: kb729@cornell.edu

Bonnie Jo Coughlin
Cornell Law School
213 Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
Email: bjc42@cornell.edu

Professional Biography

Professor Bergin is a recognized expert in Disaster Law, whose focus extends to humanitarian aid programs and the catastrophic impact of climate change. Motivated by real-world experiences and a background teaching U.S. Constitutional Law, Ms. Bergin has been instrumental in promoting Disaster Law as an academic discipline. She is also a successful advocate. Her team in Haiti established binding precedent in a proceeding before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that reinforced post-disaster human rights obligations. Her work on mass evacuation shelters after Hurricane Katrina is used across the humanitarian sector as a blue-print for protecting displaced survivors. And her knowledge of constitutional standards helped coalition partners in Puerto Rico secure changes in the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria. Prior to joining Cornell, she was a Professor of Law with Tenure at South Texas College of Law in Houston, where she taught Constitutional Law, Property, Civil Procedure, The Politics of Race, and Human Rights. She also taught at Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, Turkey, and at the University of Cincinnati as a Visiting Professor. She clerked for Justice Joette Katz at the Supreme Court of Connecticut, and was the Derrick Bell Teaching Fellow at New York University Law School.