NEW YORK (September 19, 2012)—Dean Anthony W. Crowell today announced that New York Law School has created a new Pro Bono Initiative directly designed to comply with new requirements being put into effect by the New York Court of Appeals, under the leadership of Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman. The initiative will advance our commitment to identify and create new opportunities for students by expanding the Law School’s clinical and experiential learning offerings, which will now be ever more critical to supporting them in completing at least 50 hours of pro bono service as a prerequisite to admission to the bar.
Consistent with the intent of the new requirement, which is expected to take effect on January 1, 2013, New York Law School’s program, which begins immediately, will address the needs of low-income New Yorkers who lack access to legal services, help students gain experience and build skills, and instill in them the values of pro bono service.
Dean Crowell applauded Chief Judge Lippman’s vision and commitment and said New York Law School stands ready to meet the challenge to promote access to justice in the 21st century. Noting that the new requirement comes at a time of great change in legal education and the profession, Dean Crowell stated, “Expanding clinical and experiential opportunities has been a priority of mine since joining the Law School. Our new Pro Bono Initiative provides NYLS with an excellent opportunity to showcase its ability to be nimble and build best-in-class programs to further the goals of access to justice as we train the next generation of lawyers.”
Dean Crowell also acknowledged Chief Judge Lippman’s Advisory Committee on Pro Bono Bar Admission Requirements for its extensive outreach and inclusion of NYLS and other area law schools in the process. Dean Crowell stated that the committee produced an outcome that reflects the diversity in the size and capacity of law schools and the legal communities where placements occur and recognized the committee’s expansion of the scope of activities that will qualify as pro bono service to encompass credit-bearing clinical experiences and externships, including those in the public sector. “I believe that the program as structured will enable those seeking admission to the bar the opportunity to help provide meaningful outcomes for clients as well as gain experience that will encourage a life-long commitment to pro bono service,” Dean Crowell said.
The NYLS Pro Bono Initiative will be led by Professor Carol A. Buckler, who also will direct the NYLS Center for Professional Values and Practice, which will expand its focus to include pro bono service. The Center will house the NYLS Pro Bono Initiative, and work closely with the NYLS Office of Clinical and Experiential Learning and the NYLS faculty, to expand the Law School’s clinical and experiential learning programs to scale. It also will address diversity in the profession, professional ethics for the public sector, and the use of innovative legal technology to meet the needs of a changing profession. “I am pleased to lead both the Pro Bono Initiative and the Center for Professional Values and Practice. Together, the students, faculty, and administration of NYLS will work to further Judge Lippman's goal to expand access to justice for underserved New Yorkers, and to provide critical new experiences for our students,” Professor Buckler said.
Professor Buckler has been with the Law School since 1991. Since 2002, she has served as a member of the Law School’s administration, most recently as Interim Dean of the Law School and previously as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. She also served as the Law School’s first Associate Dean for Professional Development, where she oversaw the offices of Student Life, Career Services, and Public Interest and Community Service.
The Center will continue and build on its longstanding commitment to enhancing the profession with a number of projects, which include:
York Law School
Founded in 1891, New York Law School is an independent law school located in lower Manhattan near the city’s centers of law, government, and finance. New York Law School’s renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in such areas as constitutional law, civil and human rights, labor and employment law, media and information law, tax law, real estate and urban legal studies, international law, financial services and regulation, and a number of interdisciplinary fields. The School is noted for its nine academic centers: Center on Business Law & Policy, Center on Financial Services Law, Center for International Law, Center for New York City Law, Center for Professional Values and Practice, Center for Real Estate Studies, Diane Abbey Law Center for Children and Families, Institute for Information Law & Policy, and Justice Action Center. New York Law School has more than 13,000 graduates and currently enrolls some 1,365 full-time students and 400 part-time students in its J.D. program and 95 students in its five advanced degree programs in American business law, financial services law, real estate, tax, and mental disability law studies. www.nyls.edu