The Pace Community Law Practice, a nonprofit law firm operated by Pace Law School, added four new fellows after the Class of 2012 graduated, according to the New York Law Journal.
The program is modeled after the residencies that medical students are required to perform. Pace is one of roughly 12 law schools across the country that have setup nonprofit firms for graduates.
The very first program was created by the City University of New York School of Law. This program has trained eight lawyers per period in 18-month stints since it was created in 2007.
Since 2007, these teaching law firms have opened on campuses at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and quite a few other schools.
“I wanted to be part of the program’s mission of helping meet the need for affordable legal services while building my own practical skills, and this was really the only place I could do both,” Sarah Hollender said of Pace Law’s firm. Hollender was a member of Pace Law School’s Class of 2012.
“We’re learning everything from how to organize an outreach event to giving clients two business cards so they can give one to their friends,” Hollender said.
There was a celebration of the program’s first seven months on April 4, where Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said, “Pace’s work supports these individuals by giving them the business management skills they need to start their own practice while helping to fill the justice gap and fulfill the needs of the low-income community.”
The executive director of the firm, Jennifer Friedman, said that the fellows are paid on a scale that resembles that of public interest jobs in New York.
“We have a hybrid system,” Friedman said. “We use some of the income from legal fees to offset our costs but we’re able to charge significantly below market rates for comparable legal services in Westchester County.”