Posts Tagged new york

NY State Legal Services Providers to Get $25 Million State Appropriation

By: Steve Grumm

Some good funding news for a change.  According to Thomson-Reuters:

Nonprofit groups that provide free civil legal services to low-income people in New York have received twice the state funding they were awarded last year, state court administrators said.

At the request of Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, state lawmakers this year doubled to $25 million total funding for the programs, court administrators announced on Tuesday. The programs have lost millions of dollars in federal and local funding over the last few years.

Judge Lippman has of late been getting a lot of press regarding the new rule which will require 50 hours of pro bono before one can be licensed to practice in New York.  (Here is our super intern Maria Hibbard’s take on that.)  But for a much longer stretch he’s been working tirelessly to support access to justice – and he’s backing it up with funding.  This is great news for legal services providers – and perhaps also for law grads who may see more employment opportunities as a result of this cash infusion.

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Mandatory Pro Bono? Be Part of the Conversation!

From the New York Times’ Opinion Pages:

In “Rethinking Pro Bono” (Op-Ed, May 14), Ben Trachtenberg casts Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s new legal public service requirement as bad policy, saying students and graduates can’t afford it, can’t do it and shouldn’t be asked to do it since better ideas abound. Starting in 2013, candidates for admission to the New York State Bar must complete 50 hours of public service.

Contrary to Mr. Trachtenberg’s argument, 50 hours of pro bono work will not mire law students and graduates in poverty. Moreover, volunteers can make a difference while gaining skills, confidence and links to jobs. . . .

The pro bono requirement may have hidden virtues. Over time, schools, firms and the courts may guide more resources toward public service, helping to improve its quality. The first opportunity to do pro bono can also make the second easier, instilling in many a commitment for life.

Alternative approaches may also have merit, but credit the chief judge for acting in urgent times to make this good idea a reality.

Read the rest here and respond to this letter for NYT’s Sunday Dialogue.

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Job o’ the Day: Summer 2012 Internship at the Urban Justice Center in NY!

The Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center is currently seeking interns for the summer of 2012.

The mission of the Street Vendor Project is to advance economic justice and political power among the approximately 15,000 people who sell food and merchandise on the streets and sidewalks of NYC. Vendors, who are primarily recent immigrants and U.S. military veterans, have serious problems: they have been denied access to vending licenses and driven from their vending locations. Fines reach as high as $1,000 per ticket for trivial violations.

The Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center is a membership-based organization that provides legal representation and small business training to individual vendors while organizing them to speak together in one unified citywide movement for justice and respect.

Interns will have the chance to represent vendors in administrative hearings, where you can present evidence and cross-examine police officers. You will also attend organizing meetings and help plan demonstrations, rallies, and other events.

Sounds interesting, right? Find out more at PSLawNet!

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Job o’ the Day: Address Wrongful Convictions with the Innocence Project in NY

The Innocence Project is a nonprofit pro bono legal clinic founded in 1992 by Prof. Barry Scheck and civil rights lawyer Peter Neufeld at the Cardozo School of Law/Yeshiva University. Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to avoid future injustice.

The Innocence Project has established the position of Joseph Flom Special Counsel, a new senior-level staff position that will significantly increase the clinic’s capacity to address the leading causes of wrongful convictions through strategic litigation. This is a new capacity being developed at the Innocence Project. We are seeking candidates with established litigation and leadership skills, necessary for structuring and implementing our strategic litigation reform work.

The Joseph Flom Special Counsel will initially identify and litigate cases.  In the course of the first four years, the Special Counsel will develop and lead a small cadre of strategic litigators that will enable the Innocence Project to increase its ability to free the innocent and reform the criminal justice system.

In the first two years, the strategic litigation will focus on supporting the organization’s efforts to reform forensic sciences to make them more scientific.  Over time, the Special Counsel will evolve the organization’s capacity to shape strategic litigation efforts on the leading causes of wrongful conviction, including eyewitness misidentification, false confessions, and incentivized witness testimony.

The Innocence Project’s strategic litigation will serve three primary purposes:  1)  to support legislative and policy reform efforts; 2) to change the ways that courts consider evidence that has historically brought about wrongful convictions; and 3) to provide support to litigators across the country who litigate post-conviction claims of innocence in strategically chosen cases.

If you’re interested in working with the Innocence Project to advance reform in criminal justice policies, find out how to apply at PSLawNet!

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