February 15, 2019

Dean Melanie Leslie offered Cardozo’s clinic students the opportunity to recount their experiences with hands-on clinical work, through a series of luncheon presentations for faculty and staff.

Cardozo offers eleven clinics that allow students to gain real-world experience in different practice areas of law.

The February 6 luncheon included presentations from three groups of clinic students, representing the Divorce Mediation Clinic, Benjamin B. Ferencz Human Rights and Atrocity Prevention Clinic and the Securities Arbitration Clinic.

3L student Ian Pillinger and 2L Jaclyn Kleban, students from the Atrocity Prevention Clinic, were involved in rewriting the Crimes Against Humanities Treaty, to update and improve legal considerations of enslavement and slave trafficking. They created a draft, submitted it to the International Law Commission and are now waiting to hear back on the proposed changes.

Sarah Visac ‘18 worked in the divorce mediation clinic during the spring semester of 2018. Four hours a week were spent with clients and mediating cases at the courthhouse. She also attended a weekly seminar class and beyond that, spent hours drafting documents and filing papers. Sarah said the clinic works “like a small boutique law firm with a group of 9 students, selected each semester via an application process.”

The clinic has worked with over 350 couples since its inception in 2010.

Sarah and her co-students, who were under the supervision of Professor Robert Collins, also worked on communicating with clients on substantive questions and procedural follow-ups, preparing drafts of separation agreements and divorce papers and subsequently, filing divorce papers in court and tracking the case status on e-courts.

She said, “Beyond the knowledge, the practice and the skills I gained during this semester at the clinic, the real value I will retain for the rest of my career is the human experience. First, for the relationship with my colleagues and my professor. Second, for the feeling of helping people. I would say that this experience changed me. I see things differently, I have more compassion. Law school taught me how to be a robot reading books. The clinic brought back emotions which are needed to see things from a different perspective. Now, when I think about what I want to do after law school, I think more about the environment I want to evolve in and the people I want to work with.”