COMMUNITY MEMBERS, FROM THE YOUNG TO THE AGING, know they can rely on Albany Law School. For veterans and the elder population, annual pro bono law days lend much-needed guidance. For area children and families, various toy drives and events such as Trick or Treat Street make the holidays that much brighter—and spookier. And for those susceptible to the access-to-justice gap, The Justice Center provides hope, help, and a lifeline.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2018-19
- The graduating class contributed more than 52,000 hours of pro bono and public service work while at Albany Law School. “It’s the most rewarding work you will do, no matter what you do with your life,” Dianne R. Phillips ’88 of Holland & Knight said during her keynote address at the 2019 Celebration of Public Interest and Pro Bono.
- Working through The Justice Center students devoted more than 33,000 hours to serving the unmet legal needs of clients in the Capital Region and beyond.
- Around 11,000 of those hours were performed via The Justice Center’s in-house clinics, through which students represented entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and small businesses; immigrants and asylum-seekers; people with chronic health conditions; and survivors of domestic and family violence. The remaining hours were contributed through field placements and the Pro Bono Society.
- Students helped hundreds in the community through their pro bono projects. The Elder Rights Project hosted 100-plus guests at its annual Senior Citizens’ Law Day. The Vet-erans’ Rights Project held its own law day to answer the unmet legal needs of veterans, service members, and their families. The Prisoners’ Rights Project partnered with several organizations to register inmates to vote and educate them on voting rights and eligibility status. The Tenants Rights Project teamed up with United Tenants of Albany to staff a hotline and provide information about eviction defense. The Young Advocates Project taught students at Tech Valley High School how to formulate an effective argument. And the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Project assisted low-income taxpayers in preparing their returns.
- The Black Law Students Association co-organized a well-attended #518KnowYourRights workshop on improving police and community interactions.
- Students launched several holiday-themed initiatives, including: toy drives by the Prisoners’ Rights Project and the Black Law Students Association; Adopt-a-Family by the Latin American Law Students Association, Muslim Law Students Association, and Asian Pacific Law Students Association; and the Rockefeller Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta’s annual Halloween event—the family focused Trick or Treat Street—which packed the gym with hundreds of costumed revelers.