Legal Hand Call-In Center Serving Westchester County to Open at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in January 2023

November 18, 2022
Legal Hand

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University has partnered with Legal Hand, Inc., a New York State not-for-profit corporation, to launch the Legal Hand Call-In Center serving Westchester County. The virtual center will be staffed and operated by the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and is planned to open for Visitors in the new year.

The Legal Hand Call-In Center will be an all-virtual resource center for community members, with office space on the third floor of Aloysia Hall at the Law School. Haub Law students, along with college students and community Volunteers, will be trained to assist those who live, work and send children to school in Westchester by phone and online and provide legal information, assistance and referrals. While the Center will not provide legal advice or representation, it will serve as a valuable resource for community members seeking guidance in areas such as employment, housing, family, immigration, domestic violence and public benefits.

The Legal Hand Call-In Center serving Westchester County will function as part of the law school’s broader Access to Justice Project, which incorporates curricular, experiential, research, and policy advocacy components, all designed to increase student, faculty and staff engagement in pro bono and community work, and to support the local community in addressing justice gaps.

“Through our partnership with Legal Hand, the Elisabeth Haub School of Law will serve an important role as a resource for the community, while providing our students with an invaluable opportunity to understand and address access to justice issues,” said Horace E. Anderson, Dean of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law. “The Center’s goals are to empower both Volunteers and Visitors to understand and navigate issues and self-help resources, and to help Visitors resolve issues before they turn into legal action.”

Law student Volunteers will be able to participate by handling shifts during the Center hours as trained Volunteers or through a guided externship for credit, and members of the broader community will be trained as Volunteers and asked to commit to serving a minimum of 3 hours per week for 6 months.

“The Legal Hand Call-In Center partnership is an exciting addition to our Access to Justice Project, which is all about finding innovative ways for our law students to build skills through actual community engagement in identifying and addressing gaps in access to legal information and resources,” said Adjunct Professor Elyse Diamond, Director of  the Public Interest Law Center and Access to Justice Project. Professor Diamond  is spearheading the Call-In Center partnership and launch, and will serve as the faculty advisor for Haub Law students participating in the program.

With the addition of the forthcoming Legal Hand Call-In Center, Haub Law recently appointed Stephanie Costa, Esq. as the Legal Hand Call-In Center Attorney. In this new role, reporting to Professor Diamond, she will train and supervise the law student and community Volunteers in the Legal Hand Call-In Center operated by Pace as they assist virtual Visitors. Prior to joining Haub Law, Stephanie litigated cases on tenants’ rights and fair housing issues on behalf of individual New Yorkers and tenant associations at Legal Services-NYC. She received her JD at Fordham University School of Law and undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Diego Gomez, a 2022 graduate of the law school, has also been hired as the Center Manager and will assist in the Center’s training and administration. 

Haub Law is currently recruiting students and other interested members of the community as Volunteers. Qualifying Volunteers will participate in an intense training program prior to the planned launch of the Center in January 2023.

View brochure for more details about becoming a Legal Hand Call-In Center Volunteer. To participate in an upcoming volunteer information session, register here.

About Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University
Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law offers JD and Masters of Law degrees in both Environmental and International Law, as well as a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) in Environmental Law. The school, housed on the University’s campus in White Plains, NY, opened its doors in 1976 and has over 9,000 alumni around the world. The school maintains a unique philosophy and approach to legal education that strikes an important balance between practice and theory. Haub Law launched its Environmental Law Program in 1978, and it has long been ranked among the world’s leading university programs, with a current #1 ranking by U.S. World and News Report.

About Legal Hand, Inc.
Legal Hand is a nonprofit organization that provides support for underserved communities and helps individuals and families navigate some of life’s most challenging issues including housing, family, immigration, domestic violence, public benefits and many more. Legal hand works towards resolving issues before they become legal actions. Legal Hand first opened in 2015 with Neighborhood Storefront Centers in New York City. In response to the Pandemic, Legal Hand opened Legal Hand Virtual Call-In Centers in Suffolk and Nassau Counties, Schenectady and Albany Counties and in January 2023, will open the Legal Hand Call-In Center serving Westchester County in partnership with the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.

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