June 2012 Volunteer Feature: Law Firm Summer Associates at LAS Represent Low-Income New Yorkers with Disabilities and Public Housing Tenants

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

  • The Legal Aid Society

Picture of LAS Summer Associate TrainingAlthough law firms continue to have smaller summer associate classes than prior to the recession, The Legal Aid Society’s pro bono partners have continued the tradition of representing low-income New Yorkers with physical and/or mental disabilities who are 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 to advocate to save affordable housing for tenants and their families facing homelessness, and SSI cases to ensure that low-income New Yorkers with physical and/or mental disabilities receive basic subsidies for food and shelter. This long-standing partnership with five law firms - Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, Kaye Scholer LLP, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates, and augmented by the participation of Dechert LLP - expands the capacity of the Society’s Civil Practice to provide legal services to indigent clients.

In addition, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & 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 experience of providing pro bono assistance.

Picture above of The Legal Aid Society's New York City Housing Authority summer associate training given by Legal Aid attorney Lucy Newman.