Dear Friends:
We hope your year is off to a fantastic start! The City Bar Justice Center (Justice Center), including twelve civil justice projects led by our highly motivated team, is powered by your generous contributions and the support of pro bono volunteers. Last year, the Justice Center helped over 26,000 clients obtain $10.3 million in benefits and monetary awards. Further, with the support of 2,200 trained pro bono volunteers, the Justice Center leveraged $15 million in pro bono legal services for underserved clients.
As we enter 2020, we don't intend to rest on our past achievements and we don’t think you do either. The rapid development of technology creates a myriad of opportunities for public service and for non-profit organizations like the Justice Center to enhance service delivery through our pro bono model. Part of staying at the front of change in the next decade will mean piloting innovative practices to build efficient pathways to serve more New Yorkers in critical need of legal assistance. We look forward to partnering with our supporters to do more justice in the year ahead.
Best regards,
Lynn M. Kelly
Executive Director
Expanding Immigrant Justice Advocacy: The Launch of Our New Litigation & Appeals Practice by Caitlin Miner-Le Grand

Born out of growing needs amidst rapid changes in federal immigration policy, the Justice Center is pleased to announce an expansion of its Immigrant Justice Project to include additional advocacy on appeals and collateral federal litigation. The new efforts will include work with pro bono attorneys to litigate denied humanitarian immigration cases, concentrating on asylum denials and denials of U and T nonimmigrant status petitions. Read more
The Federal Pro Se Project and Paul Weiss Collaborate on Discovery Workshop to Assist Pro Se Litigants by Cheryl Lopez 

The Justice Center’s Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Project (FEDPRO) recently hosted its second Discovery Workshop in collaboration with pro bono partner Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, & Garrison LLP. A significant portion of the people filing pro se in the federal court in Brooklyn are bringing civil rights claims and have no lawyer to advise them. Their only recourse is to seek limited scope assistance from FEDPRO. Read more
New York City Council’s Committee on Veterans Hearing by Cheryl Lopez
The Veterans Assistance Project (VAP) recently testified before New York City Council’s Committee on Veterans on behalf of the Justice Center. On January 21, 2020, VAP’s Project Director, Kent Eiler, participated in a public hearing aimed at exploring the future of the city’s Department of Veterans' Service (DVS). Read more

2020 Annual Gala: Spring Into Pro Bono
The City Bar Justice Center's Annual Gala will take place on April 1, 2020 at the historic City Bar building. Individual tickets are now available at $2,000 ($1,800 tax deductible contribution) a seat. To purchase a ticket please email or call 212-247-6188.

Closing the Service Gap for NYC Veterans
The Veterans Assistance Project (VAP) advocates for more funding for veterans disability work as they launch the Technical Assistance Initiative – Legal (TAIL). After studying the gap between what veterans in NYC should be receiving in terms of disability payments and what they actually obtain, VAP has been active in addressing this injustice on a number of fronts.
The Project received two grants from private foundations to extend technical assistance to the legal services community as part of its efforts to expand access to lawyers who help veterans secure VA disability benefits. Work has started on a manual and quarterly meetings are being held with nonprofit community members who have begun developing projects to serve vets.

In addition, VAP’s biweekly grand rounds calls with Project Director Kent Eiler will be expanded to provide technical assistance to the nonprofits interested in this new area of practice. VAP continues to collaborate with City Bar committees around advocacy to serve more veterans including various discussion around veterans right to counsel.

The Justice Center's New Fragomen Fellow

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, appointed Cecilia Lopez Santiesteban as the next “Fragomen Fellow” at the Justice Center. The Fragomen Fellowship, established more than a decade ago, is a two-year rotating position the firm’s New York office established to enhance the pro bono immigration services provided by the Justice Center. We are excited to have Cecilia join the Immigrant Justice Project (IJP) where she will advocate for and represent immigrants in removal proceedings and support them in navigating complex affirmative applications. She is also spearheading community education and outreach activities involving pro bono volunteers and clients.

A Dream Turned Reality: Mother Overcomes Struggles Faced by Homeless, Undocumented Immigrants in NYC by Cheryl Lopez

We begin the year by sharing an inspirational client story about the power of collaborating for justice and the difference pro bono work can make for underserved community members. The Legal Clinic for the Homeless (LCH) and the Immigrant Justice Project (IJP) joined forces to assist Ellen A.S., a single mother searching for essential resources for the well-being and survival of her family. Further, they supported their client on the journey from living as a homeless, undocumented immigrant in NYC to obtaining U.S. citizenship. Read more
Latest Updates
Review the CBJC's latest advocacy work and media features
  • Lisa Pearlstein, the Project Director of our Legal Clinic for the Homeless, wrote a Letter to the Editor of The New York Times on the significant burdens homeless people in NYC face in order to obtain benefits for basic necessities. Read more
  • The Justice Center joined an amicus brief filed by Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, LLP and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Evelyn Sineneng-Smith v. U.S. At stake is the right of attorneys and immigration service providers, including pro bono attorneys, to give advice to immigration clients without fear of criminal prosecution under the federal statute barring encouragement. The brief argues that the provision is unconstitutional. Read more
  • The Justice Center joined Simpson Thacher & Barlett LLP and civil justice organizations in filing an amicus brief, Al Otro Lado, Inc. v. Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. The case challenges the government’s “Turnback Policy,” under which U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents use manipulative tactics of varying degrees to encourage or force migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to turn back. The brief argues against the use of these practices. Read more
More Reads! 
Check out some of our latest blog posts and articles
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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