Welcome to the Law Firm Fellows website

Monday, October 05, 2009

  • Lynn Kelly
  • City Bar Justice Center

Greetings from the New York City Bar and City Bar Justice Center! As Executive Director of the City Bar Justice Center, I’d like to welcome you to the Law Firm Fellows site, and to applaud your decision to take on a fellowship in the public interest legal community.  At a time of swelling demand for legal services, your contributions in the coming year will make a huge difference to those struggling to keep their homes and families intact. The professional experience you gain will also be valuable to you in your future endeavors, wherever they may lie. I hope you find this a rewarding and thought-provoking time, and that this site proves to be a helpful resource.

For those of you pursuing externships in the New York area, I want to inform you of the many efforts that the New York City Bar has undertaken in ensuring that the needs of deferred associates in the New York and metropolitan area are being met.

The Deferred Associate Law Extern Support Project is one of these efforts. The Project, funded by the New York Community Trust, offers an ongoing series of free CLE accredited training programs and roundtable discussions throughout the fall aimed at getting deferred associates up to speed on the hard and soft skills needed to succeed at their externships and when they return to the firm. We also hope to provide a community here at the City Bar where you can discuss your experiences and meet judges and established lawyers who support pro bono efforts in the process. On October 7, 2009, the Project is hosting a Cocktail Party for deferred associates at the New York City Bar (42 W. 44th Street) from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (rsvp here) and on October 23, 2009, a training program entitled “Professional Boundaries: Client Relationships, Opposing Counsel and Co-Counsel” from 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. also at the City Bar (rsvp here) with Janet Sabel, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of The Legal Aid Society and me as the trainers.

For those still looking for deferment opportunities, the City Bar has also facilitated the matching of interested associates and organizations; specifically we have accumulated a database with over 200 opportunities available to associates (visit here for more information). We have also brought together law firms and public interest organizations to discuss issues that may arise in forging deferral programs at law firms.

We know that each of the externs will enable legal services, government and public policy organizations and agencies to carry out important work. In addition, we hope that this experience will increase your understanding of the growing problems for low-income persons in the New York metropolitan area during this recession.

Again, we gratefully acknowledge the support of the New York Community Trust for this Project.


Lynn M. Kelly is the Executive Director of the City Bar Justice Center.  She is an expert in designing and operating effective civil legal delivery systems to low income clients with a 25 year career including leading MFY Legal Services for nine years, serving as a litigator and manager with the Civil Division of The Legal Aid Society and teaching litigation skills at Fordham, NYU and New York Law School’s clinical law programs.