Pat Gatling

Pat Gatling

New York Civil Rights Lawyer & former Chair of the New York Commission on Human Rights
Pat Gatling
Hon. Patricia L. Gatling is a human rights lawyer and practicing attorney at the law firm of Windels Marx.

Pat is currently a candidate to be the next Brooklyn (King’s County) District Attorney. She is the longest serving Human Rights Commissioner in New York City history. As Commissioner under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mayor Bill deBlasio., Ms. Gatling was charged with enforcing the Human Rights Law and combating discrimination in New York City. She also served as the Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights under New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Ms. Gatling was the Executive Producer of Fighting for Justice: New York Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, a series of groundbreaking documentary films for the New York City Commission on Human Rights and NYC Media’s online Civil Rights Museum.

In addition, Ms. Gatling worked as a senior trainer with John Jay College of Criminal Justice, as part of the U.S. State Department's International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), teaching "Human Rights, Human Dignity and the Law" in Botswana, Thailand and Hungary, and at the Dubai Police Academy in the United Arab Emirates. She has served on the New York City Charter Revision Commission and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for the New York Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection and the Board of Visitors of University of Maryland School of Law.

As the former First Assistant District Attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, Ms. Gatling was in charge of the Major Narcotics Investigations Bureau, the Community Relations Bureau, Legal Hiring, Inter-Agency Training, and Inter-Governmental Affairs, managing the legal and administrative operations of the office. She served as a Special Assistant Attorney General at the Office to Investigate the New York City Criminal Justice System from 1987 to 1990. While in that office, she prosecuted corruption cases involving public officials, police officers, and corrections officers, specializing in the prosecution of police brutality and death-in-custody cases.

Ms. Gatling attributes her interest in law to her days growing up in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University. She also attended New York University in Paris, France. Ms. Gatling is the former President of the National Black Prosecutors Association.

Ms. Gatling is an active participant in community outreach programs and a widely respected speaker. She has lectured at the United Nations African Mothers Association Conference, the University of Iowa School of Law, American Women's Economic Development Corporation, the National Association of Black Narcotics Agents, the Practicing Law Institute, and has delivered the John Jay College Lloyd G. Sealy lecture, among others. She has been featured in numerous publications including Black Enterprise, Emerge, Black Elegance, Essence, Sheen, Aramica and major newspapers such as The New York Times, Daily News, New York Post, and Amsterdam News. Ms. Gatling has been a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show and on Court TV, and featured in A&E documentaries titled “The Prosecutors” and “Second Chance,” and in an episode of “She’s The Boss,” a web series on She has been featured many times on NBC, UPN-9, CBS, and New York 1 for her work at the Commission.

Ms. Gatling led a successful campaign to remedy the lack of diversity in the advertising industry, and was subsequently ranked #4 of the “10 Who Made Their Mark,” a list in Advertising Age that showcased those who had an impact on the industry in 2006. In 2007, The Network Journal Magazine ranked Ms. Gatling among the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives named Ms. Gatling “Humanitarian of the Year.” Ms. Gatling co-authored an article entitled, “Urbanization, Security, and Human Rights,” which was published in the journal International Police Executive Symposium / Global Perspectives.

In 2010, Ms. Gatling was co-executive producer of the film, Fighting for Justice: New York Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, which is part of the Commission’s online civil rights museum, an initiative developed under Ms. Gatling’s administration. The film profiles three New Yorkers whose contributions helped pave the way toward progress for equal justice for African-Americans, and whose stories begin to tell about New York City’s formative place in the Civil Rights Movement.

Ms. Gatling is a member of National Black Prosecutors Association (NBPA) and the International Association of Prosecutors. She is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States of America, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York and the State of New York.

Ms. Gatling has received many awards throughout her career, including honors from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, the Association of Black Women Attorneys, Women in Islam, the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New York County Lawyers Association. She received the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) Alumnus of the Year Award and the Benjamin L. Cardin Public Service Award, both from the University of Maryland School of Law. Recently, Ms. Gatling was honored with the “Woman of the Year” Award by the New Era Democrats, as well as the Metropolitan Black Bar Association Public Service Award and the Victoria Jackson Gray Adams Freedom and Justice Award. Ms. Gatling also served as a member of Harvard University’s “Executive Session on Human Rights Commissions and Criminal Justice”.

Ms. Gatling resides in Brooklyn with her husband John Coleman.


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