Better Lawyering for the Poor

NY chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, is making innovative changes to the education and training of lawyers as well as to the workings of the court system.

Editorial (New York)

Editorial Board of New York Times
New York Times (NYT)
February 26, 2014
Link to Story

Tags: Courts, Law School Clinics, Law Schools


Starting next year, a new program will let third-year law students take the bar exam in February instead of July, in exchange for spending their last semester doing free legal work for the poor under the supervision of seasoned attorneys.

The plan enlarges on existing law school internships and previous steps by Judge Lippman to increase the involvement of law schools and students in helping the indigent. Giving third-year students full-time practical training, along with earlier admission to the bar, could help improve their job prospects.

Judge Lippman is also seeking to have more non-lawyers assist unrepresented litigants in housing, consumer debt and other cases. A pilot project in Brooklyn and the Bronx will allow trained non-lawyers called “court navigators” to accompany unrepresented litigants to court and respond to questions from a judge, though not address the court on their own.