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Pace Community Law Practice welcomes new Legal Fellows

Five recent law school graduates will continue the work of the Pace Community Law Practice (PCLP) as the new team of Legal Fellows comprising the practice’s legal staff.  As the second group selected for these highly-competitive, one-year “legal residencies,” they provide high-quality, affordable legal services under the supervision of an experienced attorney while also learning the skills that will allow them to open their solo practices.

The PCLP Fellows bring with them considerable experience for those just beginning their legal careers. Making the most of the practical opportunities available to them as law students, they have already gained valuable legal skills working as student attorneys at John Jay Legal Services, interns for legal services agencies, and clerks at local law firms. Their nascent legal experiences build upon a shared passion for social justice.

“Before coming to law school, I participated in a number of internships working with victims and survivors of domestic violence,” says Elizabeth Mastropolo, one of the 2013 Fellows. “These experiences opened my eyes to the plight of the disenfranchised and initiated my desire to fight for the rights of those without a voice in our community."

Launched in 2012, the PCLP counsels clients on a range of issues. During its first year of operation, Fellows handled immigration cases such as naturalization and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) cases. They also represented clients in cases dealing with employment law, family law, guardianship, and special education. Fees are set on a sliding scale basis to ensure everyone has access to legal representation.

“We are thrilled to welcome our five new Fellows,” said Jennifer Friedman, PCLP executive director. “During our first year of operation, we witnessed how vital it is to make legal services available and affordable to the community. I am confident our new Fellows will continue this effort. 

“I am also gratified that our first class of fellows all landed fantastic new positions – three were employed before their fellowships with the PCLP ended, and the fourth opened his own law practice, which the PCLP is proud to be incubating.  It’s proof positive that the practical experience we are providing here is not only helping clients, but enabling our Fellows to launch successful careers.”

Photo caption: The 2013 Fellows with PCLP staff (l to r) Pouyan Darian, Kerriann Stout, Andrew Zahnd, Elizabeth Mastropolo, and Elizabeth Tonne-Daims with PCLP Executive Director Jennifer Friedman and Supervising Attorney Karin Anderson Ponzer.