In an effort to broaden opportunities for students to improve their practical skills, Brooklyn Law School and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University have each introduced new field clinics this semester.
Students enrolled in Cardozo Law’s Gertrud Mainzer Family Defense Field Clinic represent parents in child neglect cases in the Bronx. Students will work under the supervision of The Bronx Defenders to advocate for the parents in abuse, neglect and termination of parental rights proceedings in Family Court. Cardozo Law chose The Bronx Defenders because of its “holistic” defense model, the school said in a press release, which works to connect clients who are disproportionately poor with social services. Cardozo Law students in the clinic are working with social workers and parent advocates in addition to their supervising attorneys.
Meanwhile, two Brooklyn Law clinics will focus on elder rights and securities arbitration. Though similar clinics have been offered at Brooklyn Law in the past, they have been reintroduced as partnerships with outside organizations. The elder rights clinic, for example, is a collaboration with the South Brooklyn Legal Services Elderlaw Project and the Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention. In addition to identifying and intervening in cases of elder abuse, students are also representing senior citizens in eviction cases and evaluating their food, housing and health care needs.
The securities arbitration clinic is a partnership with securities litigation firm Labaton Sucharow. Students are representing defrauded individual investors who would not otherwise be able to afford legal counsel. Brooklyn Law alum Joel Bernstein, along with Mark Arisohn, both partners at the firm, designed a curriculum for students that covers case evaluation, client counseling, trial skills, legal strategy and settlement negotiation.