Beginning in spring 2015, eight third-year Hofstra Law students will spend the final 12 weeks of the semester providing 500 hours of pro bono legal assistance as part of Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s Pro Bono Scholars Program.
The students, who are also required to spend time in training and participate in a 2-credit weekly seminar, will be permitted to take the New York bar exam in February 2015, before they graduate. Assuming a passing score and successful completion of the Pro Bono Scholars Program and all graduation requirements, the students will have the opportunity to graduate in May and be admitted to practice in New York in June 2015.
“We are thrilled that eight of our students will be participating in the inaugural class of Pro Bono Scholars,” said Jennifer Gundlach, senior associate dean for experiential education and clinical professor of law. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to get a jump on early admission to the bar, to play a primary role in improving access to justice for low-income individuals in New York, and to receive valuable supervision from practicing lawyers who are experienced in providing legal services for those who are most in need in our communities.”
Each student will be working under the guidance of a supervising attorney, and their work will involve direct client contact with low-income individuals who cannot afford legal representation.
The inaugural group of students participating in the Pro Bono Scholars Program are:
- Jonathan Arner
- Landon Dais
- Steven Lee
- Amelia Nicoletti
- Megan O’Leary
- Matthew Perry
- Eric Richardson
- David Saed
About the Pro Bono Scholars Program
The Pro Bono Scholars Program represents a partnership among the judiciary, the law schools and the profession with the goal of revitalizing legal education to adapt to society’s changing needs. This new option in legal education will simultaneously better assist students in preparing for the actual practice of law, impress upon them the value of public service at the start of their careers, and provide much-needed assistance to those of limited means in our state.