Innovating Access to Justice

Since its launch in September 2012, the Pace Community Law Practice has provided quality, affordable legal services to almost 200 individuals. On April 4, join the Law School in celebrating this one-of-a-kind program.

Join the Pace Law School for “Innovating Access to Justice: A Celebration of the Pace Community Law Practice” on April 4 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Gerber Glass Moot Courtroom on the Law School Campus, featuring the Honorable Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of New York State, as the keynote speaker, with remarks from the Honorable Noel Brennan, immigration judge, and the Honorable Andrea Stewart-Cousins, New York State Senator and Pace double alumna.

Launched in September 2012, the Pace Community Law Practice (PCLP) is a first-of-its-kind legal residency and incubator program where recent Pace Law School graduates serve as Fellows intensively learning legal practice under the supervision of experienced attorneys and gaining the tools to create solo and small practices. In just six months, the PCLP has provided quality, affordable legal services to almost 200 individuals and families in immigration, employment, benefits, and family law cases in Westchester County and throughout the Hudson Valley, and has provided extensive community education through events held at Pace and at collaborating community based organizations. 

“I want to be part of the force that supports low-income clients…The increasing volume of low-income individuals, coupled with the increasing need for representation and advocacy, fuels my passion to practice this area of law,” says PCLP Fellow and Pace Law School alumna Shari Hochberg ’12.

Keynote speaker Judge Lippman, who was appointed Chief Judge of New York State by former Governor David Paterson in 2009, was awarded an honorary doctor of laws at the Law School’s 2011 Commencement, where he spoke to graduating students about the importance of equal access to justice.

“We all must earn a living, but we cannot define our existence by the billable hour or paychecks alone. Being a lawyer shouldn’t be so empty, parochial, and mechanical. Rather, being a lawyer is all about service, leadership, and compassion. We are at our best, our noblest, when we are serving others, helping clients with their problems, helping to mend broken lives or challenging systemic injustices—whether as lawyers in the private or public sectors, as professionals devoted to serving low-income clients and communities, or as pro bono volunteers who understand the critical role of access to justice in a democracy. Justice has no real meaning without lawyers to give it life—unless you can feel it in the very fiber of your being, and unless it is equally applied and accessible to all,” Lippman said.

RSVP by April 1. Read more about the fellows and program here.