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Student Ambassador Program

By Anita Womack-Weidner

As the summer neared its end in mid August, five area college students who are official members of the New York State Unified Court System’s Student Ambassador Program gathered at the Staten Island Surrogate’s Court to hear their final round of cases for the season.

The students sat in the jury box and watched lawyers, their clients and legal representatives from city and state agencies pack the courtroom – often rotating seats to accommodate the standing room only crowd – to address probate issues, including but not limited to, wrongful death petitions, how to remove a fiduciary and the disposition of property.

The Student Ambassador Program is a unique statewide internship program offering high school, graduate and law students opportunities to play an active role in the court system’s public education efforts. Working closely with judges, experienced court and legal professionals, interns fulfill a unique requirement of the program by studying a critical court-related issue, and create an outreach vehicle to help raise awareness about the issue among the students' peers and/or members of their respective, local community. Examples include participating in mainstream interviews or posting video or written information on Web sites. In the spring and summer of 2008, over 20 students participated in the Student Ambassador Program, representing nine of the 13 judicial districts, including Buffalo, Rochester, Gloverville, Albany, Suffolk, Nassau, Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens.

If you are interested in finding out more information about the Ambassador Program, please contact:
Daniel Paterson at 212-428-2705 or dpaterso@nycourts.gov

Student Ambassador Program Brochure