Sary Udashkin ’13, a Sparer Public Interest Law Fellow, founded the Public Interest Collective (PIC) with students from twelve New York area law school schools last year. Her vision was to “foster a collaborative activist community across New York City campuses.” On September 23, 2012 the PIC hosted its inaugural conference at Columbia Law School, entitled, “Legal Conference for Social Justice,” at which approximately 100 students attended.
Bill Quigley, Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Director of the Law Clinic at Loyola University Law School, New Orleans, and an expert on racial justice, gave the keynote remarks and was introduced by Nura Skaden ’13 who interned for him him this past summer. Sparer fellows Dacia Read ’14 organized a panel about institutional racism, “Risk of Permanent Punishment,” and Beile Linder ’13 organized a panel on homelessness and housing, which featured Jane Landry-Reyes ’93, a Sparer alum and senior staff attorney at South Brooklyn Legal Services.
Other panels featured BLS’s Director of Career Services, Camille Chin-Kee-Fatt and Sparer alum Beth Baltimore ’08 on law school event planning. Chin-Kee-Fat said, “It was a pleasure to contribute to the inaugural conference, and I congratulate Sary and everyone involved on their hard work.”
Clarissa Wertman ’15 said she was “re-inspired” by what she heard at the conference after making it through her first grueling month at law school. The PIC’s goal was also to ensure that law students do not “give up on their dream” of public interest work or of being an agent of societal change.
Read more about this event in The BLS Advocate.
Learn more about the Office of Public Service Programs, ways to become involved with student groups, and the Law School’s clinical and externship programs.