On May 2, 2011 the New York State Bar Association presented its annual service awards at a Law Day luncheon to 20 recipients of its 2011 President’s Pro Bono Service Awards. Brooklyn Law School’s Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office Student Action Group (CLARO SAG) won in the law school category for its commitment to pro bono work.
“The recipients of our President’s Pro Bono Service Awards have answered the call with genuine concern, dedication and generosity,” said State Bar President Stephen Younger. “I congratulate them on a job well done.”
Elizabeth Kane, Director of Public Services programs said, “These students have worked with exceptional dedication to help “unfreeze” funds of elderly citizens crucial for them to meet essential needs such as food and medication, end harassment by overzealous third party collectors, get unfounded claims dismissed, and help community members to understand the legal process and obtain cue process.”
CLARO was created by the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project and Brooklyn Law School in response to the overwhelming numbers of consumer debt cases inundating the civil court system and a dearth of legal service providers handling such cases. CLARO provides legal advice to pro sé debtors at a free walk-in clinic and students and attorney volunteers educate the Brooklyn community about consumer debt.
For the academic year of 2010- 2011 students handled a record 95 cases, dismissing a total of $391,080 of consumer debt.
Since the inception of the program in 2006, CLARO has been replicated in the other boroughs of New York, modeled after the success of the Law School’s initiatives.
Read more about CLARO and other student organizations.