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Events & News


APRIL 2015

Court Navigator Program – Housing Training
Access to Justice Program

The Court Navigator Program trains college students and other approved volunteers to provide in-court assistance to tenants and owners who are parties to nonpayment proceedings and are appearing without an attorney in the Housing Court, Resolution Part.

Friday, April 17, 2015
New York County Housing Court
RSVP required with resume:

View Flyer for more information

Family Law CLE/Pro Bono training

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program will conduct a free Family Law CLE/Pro Bono training program on April 22nd. Topics covered will include Paternity, Support, Custody, Visitation and Family Offense. In return for 4.5 CLE credits and 10 pro bono CLE credits, participants are required to complete a 20 hour pro bono practicum assisting litigants in the NYC Family Court Help Centers. View Flyer for more details.

MAY 2015

Community Law Day

Friday, May 1, 2015
The New York State Courts Access to Justice Community Outreach Program, the New York City Bar Legal Referral Service and the New York State Court Officers Association are proud to host Community Law Day 2015. This year the celebration will take place in Manhattan on Friday, May 1st from 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM in Collect Pond Park in front of the Civil Court Building at 111 Centre Street. Come for free legal information and assistance. This event is free and open to the public. View flyer for more details.


APRIL 2015

CourtHelp Upgrade

Continuing the November 2014 redesign of the CourtHelp website for unrepresented litigants, the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program has added several new topics and features to improve the user’s experience. This includes two new ways for litigants to find the information they need on CourtHelp. Every page now contains a search feature and a Quick Find link to a Topics A-Z page. These new search features greatly improve access and navigation to the site’s information. New topical pages have also been added on Appeals, Collecting a Judgment, and Adoption. Additional topics are planned by 2016. Finally, new What’s There? Links can be found on the Help Center page that list the services provided at each Court Help Center. Help us spread the word about CourtHelp by posting the new CourtHelp flyer.

MARCH 2015

Eighth Bridge the Gap Training Series Held

The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program held its eighth free "Bridge the Gap" training program for recent law school graduates and newly admitted attorneys. Training sessions in Consumer Debt, Ethics, Uncontested Divorce and Landlord & Tenant Law took place from March 24-26th. In exchange for 18 CLE credits participants will complete a 50 hour pro bono practicum assisting litigants in the NYC Housing, Civil, and Supreme Courts. This training series encourages graduates and newly admitted attorneys to get involved in pro bono work early in their careers by bridging the gap between law school and the realities of practicing law. Over 50 recent law school graduates and newly admitted attorneys participated in this initiative. The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program is grateful to all of the wonderful presenters who graciously volunteered their time.

Consumer Debt Part I - Sidney Cherubin, Esq., & Evan Denerstein, Esq.
Consumer Debt Part II - Robert Jacovetti, Esq., & Sarah Rosenthal, Esq.
Ethics - Laura Smith, Esq., Allison Schoenthal, Esq., & Meredith Heller, Esq.,
Uncontested Divorce - Baila Kamman, Esq., Kwaku Agyeman, Esq., & Lisa Zayas, Esq.
Landlord & Tenant Law - Hon. E. Pilar Sanchez, Alan Canner, Esq., Tracy McNeil, Esq., Timothy Collins, Esq., Deborah Riegel, Esq. & Hon. Sabrina Kraus.

For more information about volunteering in the NYS Access to Justice Program please contact:

Nepal Delegation Visit

On March 10, 2015, a delegation from the Supreme Court of Nepal visited Bronx County Family Court in the morning and spent the afternoon with Judge Fisher and the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program staff learning about access to justice programs and initiatives. The Nepal delegation, led by Senior Justice Kalyan Shrestha, and organized by D. Christopher Decker, Chief Technical Advisor, Rule of Law and Human Rights Programme, United Nations Development Programme, visited Arizona and Washington D.C., before finishing their judicial outreach trip in New York.

Visit from the Supreme Court of Nepal
Delegation from the Supreme Court of Nepal with Judge Fern Fisher


Lance B. Harris Wins DIY Star Award

On February 25, 2015, Kings County Supreme Court Senior Court Clerk Lance B. Harris was awarded the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program’s prestigious DIY Star Award for his contribution to the Uncontested Divorce DIY Form program’s Pilot Project and his assistance to unrepresented litigants in the Court Help Center. Read about Mr. Harris and the Star Award Ceremony.

Judicial Activism

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 article in the CUNY Law Review. In her article she urges the judiciary to embrace a new definition of judicial activism in light of the legal needs crisis. The article, entitled "Moving Toward a More Perfect World: Achieving Equal Access to Justice Through a New Definition of Judicial Activism," discusses the various ways that judges can improve the administration of justice.


2014 Report

The NYS Courts Access to Justice Program issued its 2014 Report, entitled, "Providing New Pathways to Legal Services, Assistance and Information." The Report provides a brief overview of the Access to Justice Program's programs and resources, as well as the highlights of the Access to Justice Program's accomplishments in 2014. Thank you to all the partners, friends, volunteers and court personnel who helped make 2014 a success!

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