“Justice happens when you take the time to look in a client’s eyes and learn what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the judicial system.”
January 26, 2018 - Cardozo’s Center for Public Service Law is an integral part of the community at the law school, and this year’s Public Service Law Week (P*LAW) was filled with sessions and speakers embodying the spirit of public service.
P*LAW is a weeklong intensive that takes place each year as part of January Lawyering Skills Month. Approximately 100 students participate as legal practitioners, and community advocates and organizers address important issues such as youth representation, prisoners’ rights, immigration and environmental law.
Visiting panelists throughout the week included representatives from the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform, The Human Rights Council, Bronx Legal Services, and the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative services.
A three-person panel including Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Associate Counsel, Latino Justice PRLDEF, Patricio Martínez-Llompart, 3L, Columbia Law School and a student coordinator of Ayuda Legal Huracán María and Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Ph.D., Research Associate in Public Policy, Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College/CUNY, headlined a discussion regarding Puerto Rico, its legal status and how that correlates to the current state of affairs there as the island struggles to recover from the impact of last year’s hurricane.
Other highlights during the week included sessions such as “Police Responses to Mental Health-Related Calls Involving People of Color” and “Wrongful Convictions: How to Make the Justice System More Just.”
The week culminated with the center’s 13th Annual INSPIRE! Awards ceremony, profiling students, faculty and alumni who made strides this past year in the public service arena.
Sheila Garcia from Community Action for Safe Apartments was a Special Honoree. Professor Jessica Roth and Innocence Project Clinic Faculty received the Sheri Rosenberg Faculty INSPIRE! Award and Cardozo staffers Jon Goldberg and Linda Falk were awarded the Zsuzsanna Toth Staff INSPIRE! Award.
Select Alumni working in Housing and Tenants' Rights were given Alumni INSPIRE! Awards and 3L students Stephanie Alvarez-Jones & Emily Barry received INSPIRE! Awards for Third-Year Students.
“The students who planned this year’s P*LAW panels and INSPIRE! Awards, led by 2L Katie Kuhl, did an amazing job,” said Jackie Cheney, director of the Center for Public Service law. “The topics were relevant and important, the panelists were very thoughtfully chosen, and the moderators were well prepared with thought-provoking questions. And it was wonderful to see students, alumni, staff, and faculty come together at the INSPIRE! Awards to recognize all the great work being done in the Cardozo community, as well as by Sheila Garcia, who was a wonderful choice of honoree this year given the importance of CASA and other tenant organizers in getting the right to counsel for tenants passed in New York City this year."