Dear CBJC Friends,

What a week! With Election Day behind us and the ongoing vote count continuing, it is good to remember that a change in leadership in the highest office of the land is not going to fix all the serious issues facing low-income New Yorkers who are mainly people of color. We know the legal community has volunteered in droves to ensure a fair vote and we are very grateful – Thank you! 
While the dust settles, please take a moment to review the recent data on the loss of jobs and income and the disproportionate impact it has had on Black and Brown New Yorkers which was reported in the October 2020 Robin Hood Poverty Tracker Spotlight on COVID 19. They rightly conclude that: “This crisis presents an opportunity to implement policy responses that address the immediate impacts of the fallout associated with the pandemic, while also addressing underlying inequalities exacerbated by COVID-19. Policy solutions that return New York City to the status quo will only bring us back to a fragile economic situation in which millions of New Yorkers struggle to get by and remain vulnerable to devastating economic shocks. Instead, we need to reimagine how the institutions and policies in our society function in response to the current economic crisis and to historic economic inequality, both of which disproportionally impact communities of color.”
The focus of the City Bar Justice Center is to address the unmet legal needs of poor New Yorkers – those facing foreclosure and bankruptcy, immigrants, homeless families, disabled veterans, microentrepreneurs, pro se litigants, families who need assistance when a loved one dies and thousands of Legal Hotline callers who need free, competent legal advice on everyday matters from roommate problems to job loss. Our volunteers are matched with clients who couldn’t possibly afford to pay for their legal services with anything but deep gratitude and appreciation.
CBJC is engaging in a series of retreats between now and the end of December to plan our agenda for Racial Equity and Social Justice in 2021 on three levels: inside CBJC and our internship and fellowship programs, with our stakeholders (community groups, courts, volunteers, law firms and partners, and of course our clients) and in the statutory and regulatory schemes that hold our clients down. Our 2020 Fall Newsletter will further shed light on the impactful work taking place at CBJC as we support our clients during a time of significant need and gear up to expand our racial justice efforts and combat systemic inequities in the months to come. Make a donation today to support these ongoing initiatives.
As we move on from this stressful election season and think ahead to the Thanksgiving holiday and the New Year, we invite our staff, our volunteers, partners, and supporters to recommit to the necessary mission of working to reduce race-based disparities in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are grateful for your support during a critical time as we have unfinished work in our country to ensure equal access to justice for all. Be well and stay safe.


Lynn M. Kelly
Executive Director

A Message from Kurt Denk, Pro Bono Counsel of CBJC

The #Wifi4Homeless Campaign Fuels a Citywide Movement! The findings of a report by our Legal Clinic for the Homeless, which has been endorsed by over 30 organizations, has fueled a citywide #Wifi4Homeless advocacy campaign urging the City to equip homeless shelters with Wi-Fi and internet ready devices. The advocacy campaign has successfully captured the attention of key stakeholders and has been the basis for proposed legislation. Our team is sustaining its efforts to generate policy change to secure essential technology for families in homeless shelters. Learn more. 
The Veterans Assistance Project hosted a Virtual Veterans Day Coffee Hour and Ethics CLE on representing veterans and survivors before the Department of Veterans Affairs. Further, the program aimed to recognize the outstanding pro bono work volunteers have contributed to support our low-income and disabled veteran clients, particularly as they face increased challenges during the pandemic. Thank you to our event sponsors for your longstanding partnership! Learn more about VAP’s work here.

Providing Small Business Bankruptcy Support Amid the Pandemic: CBJC’s Consumer Bankruptcy Project and Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project have partnered with Winston & Strawn LLP and Charles River Associates to co-host a webinar on bankruptcy options for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. On November 19th, the event will be led by bankruptcy attorneys and financial experts who will address frequent issues that have come up for struggling small businesses during the pandemic. Learn more.
CBJC Celebrates Pro Bono! In observance of this year’s National Celebration of Pro Bono, on October 26th, the City Bar Justice Center held a virtual gathering to celebrate our 2020 Outstanding Pro Bono Service Awardees, commemorating the tremendous response of ten volunteer attorneys from our civil justice projects who rose to meet the challenges of 2020. A heartfelt thank you and congratulations to our winners! Read more. 

IJP & Dechert Opposes Proposed Immigration Regulations: The Immigrant Justice Project and pro bono partner Dechert LLP recently submitted a Public Comment opposing a new proposed rule by the Department of Homeland Security requiring individuals submitting immigration applications to provide invasive biometric data including fingerprints, voice recognition, iris scans, and in some cases, DNA profiles. The Public Comment focused on the rule’s disproportionate and harmful impact on children and vulnerable communities served by CBJC, namely asylum seekers and survivors of domestic violence, trafficking and other crimes. Read more. 

CBJC’s 2020 Virtual Gala Celebration took place on September 24th where we celebrated the crucial work of our team and honored Venable LLP and MetLife, Inc. with the 2020 City Bar Justice Awards for their dedication to pro bono and public service. Click here to watch the remote event.
Check out some of our latest blog posts and articles!

The City Bar Justice Center Challenges Proposed Immigration Regulations with the Aid of Pro Bono Partners

The Impact of COVID-19 on New York Self-Storage Facilities
Please give now to support the City Bar Justice Center in serving New Yorkers as they face increased challenges and deal with the long-term impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 
The newsletter editor is Cheryl Lopez, the City Bar Justice Center's Communication and Development Manager. For questions you may reach her at 

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