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Lincoln Square Neighborhood Children's Law Project

The Lincoln Square Neighborhood Children's Law Project trains Fordham law students to teach concepts of law, citizenship and literacy to young children - 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th graders - in an after-school program run by the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center. This neighborhood center is located in the Amsterdam Houses, a public housing project one block west of Fordham Law School where most of the young student participants in the LSNCLP reside with their families.

"Participating in LSNCLP was a great way to end my week. From conducting mock trials about 'Jack and the Beanstalk' or 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', to eating candy while doing the robot, LSNCLP was lots of fun for the kids and the teachers."
- Cheri Veit, Class of 2008

"I'm always pleasantly surprised by how the year's work really comes together in the mock trial at the end. You realize the impact LSNCLP actually had on the children and how much they learned."
- Michelle Christ, Class of 2007

LSNCLP increases understanding in order to increase confidence in our children when they have contact with the law and legal systems of New York City. LSNCLP offers children an opportunity for open discussion about the law and legal systems of New York City. At the end of the spring semester, the LSNCLP program culminates with a mock trial program —using a script developed by the students and our law school teachers- followed by a graduation ceremony. The mock trials are judged by faculty volunteers.

An example of the mock trials:

State v Professor Snapes: Harry Potter accused Prof. Snapes of putting a short acting potion in his drink when the classroom lights went out. For the state, Hermione testified that Prof. Snape had promised to "teach Harry a lesson" for performing poorly on a test. For Prof. Snapes, Draco and Professor Dumbledore testified as character witnesses that the teacher was devoted to his pupils. The verdict was returned against Prof. Snapes. The Jury felt the case really turned on Prof. Snapes' own witness Draco's testimony that Snapes moved around during the blackout.

Myspace v Bebo. This case was created by the older children and quite legally complex. Myspace was suing for an injunction against Bebo from operating as a networking site based on Bebo's similarities to Myspace's patents for privacy protections. Myspace attorneys qualified actual experts, including Best Buy's Geek Squad and Mr. X. Bert who testified that Myspace had user privacy policies and softwares that were unique enough to qualify as US patents. Bebo's attorneys put up a mighty defense that included arguments that Facebook and Friendster had similar though not exact software and that Bebo targeted a different, younger audience than Myspace therefore reducing likelihood of confusion between Bebo and Myspace. The jury continued to be a hanging jury though and found against Bebo, ordering an injuction to cease Bebo's web operations utilizing the privacy software patents and attorneys' fees to Myspace.

 

2013-2014 Board Members:
Lucy Benz-Rogers, '14
Beth Golub, '14
Katie O'Hare '15

Telephone:  212.636.6952
Email:  fordham.lsnclp@gmail.com