Brooklyn Law School is pleased to announce five new pro bono projects and volunteer opportunities through which students can become involved with community organizations and residents.
“We are excited to see the launch of these new projects,” said Elizabeth Kane, Director of the Office of Public Service Programs. “It is our goal to offer a broad enough spectrum of pro bono opportunities that no matter what a given student’s interests are, there is something that will help that student follow the career path of his or her dreams. All of these projects add something new: LGBT issues, child support, tenants (and small landlord’s) rights, guardianships, and empowering young girls to be leaders of tomorrow.”
Court Help Center Volunteers (CHCVolunteers) provides students with the opportunity to volunteer in the Family Court Help Center (open to all students) and the Civil Court Help Center (open to 2Ls and 3Ls only). In the Family Court Help Center, students will assist pro se litigants as they navigate the family court system and complete child support modification forms. In the Civil Court Help Center, students will inform tenants and small landlords of their rights in housing court proceedings. Students will explain service of process, how to complete form pleadings and motions, and how to access non‐court resources. This project is sponsored by BLSPI and the Office of Public Service Programs.
This year, the Elder Law Pro Bono Project has expanded to become the Elder Law and Guardianship Pro Bono Project. Through the new guardianship component, students give presentations about guardianship to caregivers and parents and assist clients in drafting guardianship petitions. Peter Travitsky ’14 said, “I am excited about the Guardianship Project, and partnering with the Elder Law Project and the Brooklyn Bar Association, because it will give students exposure to an area of law that can make a huge difference to families and caregivers who wish to ensure the protection of otherwise vulnerable loved ones.”
Girls on the Run BLS will work with a local, low‐income elementary school to coach their running program, encouraging preteen girls to develop self‐esteem and healthy lifestyles. Veronica Jackson ’14 said of the program, "Girls on the Run is a great way to get involved in, and give back to, the local community that is often forgotten while in the 'law school bubble.' Being able to give young girls someone to look up to and help them with their self‐esteem and pride is a priceless gift!"
The LGBT Legal Assistance Project, a new project in partnership with the LeGaL Foundation and the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, provides legal assistance to members of the LGBTQ community, primarily through a walk‐in legal clinic held on a biweekly basis. Students assist project attorneys in conducting intake, interviewing and providing legal information and referrals to clients. Kathryn Hensley ’13 called the project “an excellent opportunity for all students to become involved in LGBTQ and civil rights issues."
The Second Chance Project helps parents with a finding of neglect on their record to amend their record with the New York State central registry, file motions to vacate neglect findings, or request suspended judgments so that their record does not limit their employment opportunities. Anna Park ’13 said, “This project will be really wonderful because law students will have the opportunity to not only have client contact, but also gain experience in legal writing and representing clients in a hearing."
To learn more about these projects and others please contact the Office of Public Service Programs.