On Monday, March 16, six of Hofstra Law’s eight Pro Bono Scholars attended the 2015 Pro Bono Scholars Reception at the offices of Legal Services NYC.
At the event, students had the opportunity to meet and network with Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti, Legal Aid Society and Legal Services of NYC attorneys, and Pro Bono Scholars from other New York-area law schools. Jennifer Gundlach, senior associate dean for experiential education, clinical professor of law, and director of the program at Hofstra Law, accompanied the students.
“In the first few weeks of the program, all of our students have had incredible opportunities to gain valuable training from experienced practitioners who have dedicated their professional careers to working on behalf of clients who cannot afford legal representation,” said Professor Gundlach. “Our students are also witnessing firsthand the continuing need for quality pro bono legal services, and I believe they will each leave this program with a commitment to being a part of that solution when they become practicing attorneys.”
In June, Hofstra Law announced its inaugural class of eight Pro Bono Scholars as part of Chief Judge Lippman’s Pro Bono Scholars Program. During the final 12 weeks of the spring semester, the scholars will provide 500 hours of pro bono legal assistance under the guidance of a supervising attorney. Their work involves direct client contact with low-income individuals who cannot afford legal representation.
The scholars also spend time training and participating in a 2-credit weekly seminar and were 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.
The inaugural group of students 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.