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Law Firm Summer Associate Programs Represent Disabled Low Income New Yorkers And Public Housing Tenants

Monday, June 21, 2010

  • Organization: Legal Aid Society

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. Summer associates, working with senior Legal Aid attorneys and supervising associates at their firms, have accepted NYCHA cases, advocating to save affordable housing for tenants and their families facing homelessness, and SSI cases to ensure that physically and/or mentally disabled low-income New Yorkers receive basic subsides for food and shelter. This long-standing partnership with seven law firms - Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, Kaye Scholer LLP, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates - expands the capacity of the Society’s Civil Practice to provide legal services to indigent clients. In addition, summer associates from Shearman & Sterling LLP are actively engaged in the Shearman/Credit Suisse signature project that assists SSI recipients who allegedly received overpayments. Summer associates from Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz LLP are also providing pro bono support through two week externships at The Legal Aid Society’s Law Reform and Special Litigation Units, while Fried, Frank, Harris, Schriver & Jacobson LLP will place two summer associates in the Community Development Project at the Harlem Community Law Office as externs. The more than 20 year tradition of engaging summer associate classes in the work of The Legal Aid Society exposes the next generation of law firm attorneys, at the onset of their legal careers, to the positive experiences and professional development opportunities pro bono work affords.

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