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Hofstra Law Launches Access to Justice Incubator

On February 4, 2014, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University officially launched its postgraduate fellowship program, the Hofstra Law Access to Justice Incubator. At the launch reception, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman (second from right) joined (left to right) Senior Associate Dean Jennifer Gundlach, Incubator Executive Director/Managing Attorney Lisa M. Petrocelli, Esq. ’94, Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz and Hofstra Law Dean Eric Lane to celebrate Hofstra Law’s commitment to public service.

The Incubator is a unique partnership between Hofstra Law and the local bench and bar to provide access to civil legal services for low- and moderate-income individuals and families on Long Island. In his remarks as the keynote speaker, Chief Judge Lippman said, “The Hofstra Law Incubator is the creative thinking we are trying to get all law schools to do. Hofstra Law is a perfect example of leadership in our profession.” Like the Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services established by Chief Judge Lippman, the Incubator looks to instill in young lawyers what he calls a culture of service.

Addressing the audience of fellow judges, attorneys and law professors, Chief Judge Lippman said, “There really is a crisis in our country, in our state and in Nassau County. [More than two million] people a year are unrepresented in the New York courts, which is why we established the Task Force.” He reminded them that “front and center of our constitutional mission is to provide justice.” He also applauded the Hofstra Law administration, saying that the Incubator is “just the right step at just the right time. … Establishing a public service law firm for recent law school graduates is an ingenious way to give experience and teach the values of what it means to be a lawyer.”

Learn more about the Hofstra Law Access to Justice Incubator.