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JULY 2015

Tackling Economic Inequality

Justice Fern Fisher, Director of the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program and Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for New York City Courts has published an essay for the "Tackling Economic Inequality" symposium hosted at the Impact Center for Public Interest Law Racial Justice Project at New York Law School. Entitled "Insuring Civil Justice for All: Meeting the Challenges of Poverty," she discusses the particular challenges persons who live in poverty face when they encounter the civil justice system and the need for the justice system to address those challenges.

NYS Court System Wins LegalTech Innovation Award

On July 14, 2015, the NYS court system’s Advocate Family Offense Petition Program received the LegalTech West Innovative Use of Technology in a Pro Bono Project award. The online program enables domestic violence advocates and legal services attorneys to assist victims with the preparation of their court papers seeking a temporary order of protection in the Family Court. The document assembly program was developed by the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program working with the NYC Family Court and domestic violence advocate groups. The court system’s Department of Technology worked with Pro Bono Net to build the technology that transfers the victim’s information directly to the court. The project was nominated for the award by Pro Bono Net. Read more about the project.

NYS Court Access to Justice Program Hosts Pennsylvania Court and Legal Services Visitors

Mike Williams, the Clerk of Court of Bronx Family Court with Vivian Appel and Sheila Fisher at Bronx Family Court Help Center
Mike Williams, the Clerk of Court of Bronx Family Court, with Vivian Appel and Sheila Fisher at the Help Center

On July 9-10, Vivian M. Appel, Esq., Family Court Administrator, Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas and Sheila J. Fisher, Esq., document assembly developer, North Penn Legal Services, visited the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program. On day one, discussion and presentations were made about the Access to Justice Program’s work on document assembly programs, court help centers, and the unrepresented litigant training conducted for judicial and non-judicial staff. On day two, the Pennsylvania guests were escorted to the Bronx County Family Court Help Center for a tour of its state-of-the-art services.

Uncontested Divorce Program Expands to Staten Island!

The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program will expand its Uncontested Divorce Clinic to Staten Island starting in July. Volunteer attorneys will assist pro se litigants seeking to file for simple uncontested divorces. The clinic will now operate in all 5 New York City counties.

Approximately 20 volunteer attorneys attended the program’s first training session. Volunteers will receive Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for attending the training session and pro bono CLE credits for volunteering in the Clinic. This program was presented in co-sponsorship with the Staten Island Women’s Bar Association.

The clinic will take place weekly in the Old Supreme Court Library, Staten Island. The clinic will be by appointment only. For more information about this program contact:

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