Fordham Law


Feerick Center Coordinates Training of 126 New CLARO Volunteers

May 09, 2012

The Feerick Center for Social Justice helped organize a training of 126 attorney volunteers to prepare them to participate in the CLARO (Civil Legal Advice Research Office) Program in New York City. The training took place at the New York County Lawyers' Association in April 2012.
 
The Feerick Center helps administer the Manhattan CLARO Project and the Bronx CLARO Project and provides support to the Staten Island CLARO Steering Committee. Members of Fordham Law's Consumer Law Advocates student group provide intake screening of all Manhattan visitors. Fellows and staff from the Center provide support in the Bronx and Staten Island.
 
The CLARO program assists people who are in debt, who are defendants in consumer debt (primarily credit card) situations, and who are unable to afford legal counsel. The volunteer lawyers provide limited, legal advice for cases in New York City Civil Court. The walk-in counseling sessions are held in Manhattan, Bronx, and Richmond courthouses on Thursday afternoons or evenings.
 
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. CLARO operates in all five boroughs: Bronx County Civil Court, New York County Civil Court (Manhattan), Kings County Civil Court (Brooklyn), Queens County Civil Court, and 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. 
 
In 2010, the Feerick Center received the New York State Courts Access to Justice Pro Bono Award for its efforts in establishing and maintaining the CLARO programs in the Bronx and Manhattan. Dora Galacatos, Senior Counsel of the Center, was recognized by Manhattan Legal Services with their Gold Medal in 2011, for her leadership role in the CLARO programs that assist thousands of New Yorkers each year.