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The Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Newsletter - July 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

  • By: Katie Niejadlik
  • Organization: The Legal Aid Society
  • Source: New York
 

 

July 2010

MAKING THE CASE FOR HUMANITY

The Legal Aid Society is an indispensable component of the legal, social and economic fabric of New York City - passionately advocating for individuals across a variety of civil, criminal and juvenile rights matters, while also pursuing a broad legal reform agenda.

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Pro Bono Newsletter

DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL LLP'S PRO BONO COMMITMENT SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACTS THE EXPANSION OF INDIGENT CRIMINAL DEFENSE COUNSEL

Davis Polk has made an extraordinary commitment in providing a high-level legal team, headed by Society Board member Daniel Kolb, to assist The Legal Aid Society in conducting innovative data research and investigation for the implementation of the landmark New York State criminal defense case cap law. The legislation, enacted in April 2009 with a four-year implementation period beginning on April 1, 2010, addresses the excessive criminal defense client caseloads in the Society's Criminal Practice . . . Read more.

THE YEAR IN PRO BONO: 2009 AT A GLANCE

In 2009, 1740 attorneys volunteered their services at The Legal Aid Society. 36 public interest externs contributed 19,035 hours of volunteer service in 2009. The total valuation of pro bono services contributed to The Legal Aid Society by volunteer attorneys was $61.3 million . . . Read more.

HERB SUE, SECOND ACTS® ATTORNEY WITH THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT, ENABLES EAST HARLEM NONPROFIT TO PLACE VOLUNTEERS WITH GRASSROOTS SOCIAL SERVICES AGENCIES

Herb Sue, who was with Ernst & Young for 19 years, retired in 2009 from the firm as one of its Associate General Counsels. Since joining The Legal Aid Society's Community Development Project (CDP) as a Second Acts® attorney, he has worked with a respected faith-based nonprofit organization that has deep roots in the East Harlem community. The organization runs a program in which volunteers are placed in low-income neighborhoods and spend a year living in community housing with other volunteers, working alongside human services and health care professionals. The volunteers may teach, provide social services, organize adult education and after-school programs, and engage in economic development activities . . . Read more.

SHEARMAN & STERLING LLP AND CREDIT SUISSE HELP PRESERVE SECURITY BENEFITS FOR DISABLED LOW-INCOME NEW YORKERS

Many of our most fragile clients, physically and/or psychologically disabled individuals, are threatened with the loss of their Social Security Disability benefits due to alleged overpayments. In these instances, the Social Security Administration ("SSA") determines that for a particular period the disabled individual has received benefits in excess of the allocated amount. SSA then seeks to recoup the overpaid amount by terminating or reducing the recipients' benefits. For many of our clients, a Social Security stipend is their sole source of income and even a 10% decrease in benefits has a devastating impact on their lives . . . Read more.

EXTERN CLASS PRAISES LEGAL AID SUPERVISION AND TRAINING; PLAN TO BRING PRO BONO PROJECTS BACK TO THEIR FIRMS

Last year, an unprecedented number of major law firms deferred their incoming first year associate class, providing recent law graduates an opportunity to volunteer for up to one year with public interest programs. In response, The Legal Aid Society expanded its regular externship program to accommodate 42 externs in the Civil, Criminal, and Juvenile Rights Practices. Nine months later, externs report that they have been fully integrated into the Society, have developed legal skills to help address the legal needs of low-income New Yorkers, and have had the "veil of lawyering lifted." The externs attribute the program's success to exemplary supervision and the support and assistance of Legal Aid's staff . . . Read more.

SHARI GRAHAM'S REFLECTIONS ON HER SKADDEN EXTERNSHIP

Since 1999, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates has had a rotational litigation externship program with The Legal Aid Society's Harlem Community Law Office. Shari Graham, who recently completed her externship, describes her experience . . . Read more.

 
 
LAW FIRM SUMMER ASSOCIATE PROGRAMS REPRESENT DISABLED LOW INCOME NEW YORKERS AND PUBLIC HOUSING TENANTS

Although law firms have substantially diminished summer associate classes, The Legal Aid Society's pro bono partners have continued the tradition of representing physically and/or mentally disabled low-income New Yorkers seeking Social Security Income Disability ("SSI") benefits and preventing the eviction of New York City Housing Authority ("NYCHA") tenants . . . Read more.

CAHILL GORDON & REINDEL LLP ATTORNEYS SECURE CRITICAL DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES FOR ABUSED AND NEGLECTED CHILDREN

The Kathryn A. McDonald Education Advocacy Project (EAP), supervised by Cara Chambers, provides educational advocacy that enables abused and neglected clients to secure services addressing educational and developmental needs. It is an integral part of The Legal Aid Society's Juvenile Rights Practice, ensuring that our youngest and most vulnerable clients are school ready. For five years, Cahill, Gordon & Reindel LLP has been a key partner in these educational advocacy efforts. The firm's attorneys engage in multiple levels of legal advocacy - factual development and case documentation, negotiation of an appropriate service plan, implementation oversight, and representation at an administrative hearing . . . Read more.

For more information about the work of The Legal Aid Society's Pro Bono Practice, please contact Katie Niejadlik, Pro Bono Administrator, at KANiejadlik@legal-aid.org

 

© 2009 The Legal Aid Society • 199 Water Street, New York, NY 10038 • www.legal-aid.org


 
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