July/August 2010 Volunteer Feature: Summer Associates Provide Housing Assistance
Even in a year of relatively small summer associate classes, the City Bar Justice Center's Housing Court Summer Assistance Project continues to thrive. This summer, 13 summer associates from six law firms and in-house legal departments are spending one week in the Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island Housing Courts where they assist pro se tenants with numerous matters, including Orders to Show Cause, Inspection and Repair Orders, Poor Persons Petitions, and Illegal Lockouts. This year, in addition to providing direct services to approximately 500 tenants, associates were able to shadow judges throughout the day both in and out of the courtroom.
Intended to give summer associates valuable counseling experience while providing insight into the workings of the New York Housing Courts, this summer's project has proved a success. One associate describes his experience: "The overall experience was memorable, especially the time I spent a courtroom. The judge took a serious interest in my presence: he explained cases to me, or gave me the filings, before a case was heard, and he took time to discuss the case with me after the case was handled."
The City Bar Justice Center would like to thank this year's summer associates for their hard work, as well as the participating legal departments and firms: Cooley LLP; Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; Dewey & LeBoeuf; MetLife; and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.