The Center develops and helps support a variety of access to justice programs and other social change initiatives. Some efforts involve partnerships with government agencies and bar associations; others have brought together area law firms. Fordham Law School students, alumni, recent graduates, and other lawyers participate in these efforts. One particular focus of the Center is developing models and approaches that engage senior lawyers in pro bono activities.
False and Deceptive Advertising ProjectThis project grew out of the Center’s Social Justice Clinic and involves a collaboration with the Fordham Law School Consumer Law Advocates, New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), and LaGuardia Community College (LCC). Center staff and students from Fordham Law School and LaGuardia Community College have been trained in false and deceptive advertising and co-present at LCC classrooms for adult basic education and English for Speakers of Other Languages
HELPThe H.E.L.P. (Homeless Experience Legal Protection) Program is a limited, legal advice project for homeless individuals and individuals at risk of homelessness. H.E.L.P. volunteer lawyers assist individuals with legal matters on a single consultation, advice only and/or limited representation basis. In 2012, H.E.L.P.’s volunteer firms and individuals include Cadwalader, Cleary Gottlieb, Dechert, DLA Piper, Morrison & Foerster, Steven Neil, Esq., O’Melveny & Myers, Patterson Belknap, Proskauer Rose, Segal McCambridge, Shearman & Sterling, Skadden Arps, and White & Case. This project is directed by a volunteer Fordham alumnus, Tom Bisdale.
CLAROThe Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO) is a limited, legal advice project for unrepresented debtor-defendants with consumer debt cases in New York City Civil Court. CLARO operates under the auspices of the New York State Unified Court System’s Access to Justice Program. CLARO involves partnerships among the county Civil Courts, New York City bar associations, and local academic institutions, including several law schools. CLARO now operates in all five boroughs -- Bronx County Civil Court, New York County Civil Court (Manhattan), Kings County Civil Court (Brooklyn), Queens County Civil Court, Richmond County Civil Court (Staten Island). Volunteer lawyers work side by side with volunteer law students. Consumer law experts help train volunteers and are available for onsite consultation during weekly clinics, which take place in the courthouses. The Feerick Center helps administer the Manhattan CLARO Project and the Bronx CLARO and provides support to the Staten Island CLARO Steering Committee.
For citywide CLARO contact information please visit www.claronyc.org.
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Senior Lawyer ProgramThe Feerick Center is working to develop pro bono opportunities for Fordham Law School alumni and, in particular, senior lawyers and lawyers in transition. To this end, the Center has convened an Advisory Group, which is helping guide its program development efforts.
In addition, New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has appointed the Feerick Center to serve as the lead agency to assist the New York State Unified Court System’s Access to Justice Program in expanding the Attorney Emeritus Program. The AEP seeks to engage attorneys 55 years and over, in good standing, and with 10 years experience in pro bono service. For more information on the AEP, please visit the New York State Unified Court website.
Photo courtesy: Rick Kopstein/New York Law Journal