Press Release from the ABA

July 16, 2008

CHICAGO, July 15, 2008 – The Public Interest Resource Center at the Fordham University School of Law will be recognized with one of five 2008 Pro Bono Publico Awards from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.
Fordham Law’s PIRC will receive the award on Monday, Aug. 11, at the Pro Bono Publico Awards Assembly Luncheon at noon at the New York Hilton, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, in New York City, during the ABA Annual Meeting.
ABA President William H. Neukom will present the 2008 awards. “The Public Interest Resource Center at Fordham University’s School of Law serves is inspirational,” said Neukom. “By training and educating students to be dedicated to the public good, PIRC’s impact on encouraging public service is considerable.  Law students who participate in the Center’s programs join the tens of thousands of lawyers in this country who deliver on the promise of equal justice for all.”
The Pro Bono Publico Awards honor individuals or organizations in the legal community that enhance the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to the poor or disadvantaged.
Nearly 500 Fordham law students participate each year in some form of pro bono or public service work through PIRC.  In 2007, the graduating class contributed more than 100,000 hours of service through internships, externships, clinics and independent programs operating under the PIRC umbrella.
PIRC’s programs include the Domestic Violence Awareness Center, the Death Penalty Defense Project, the Housing Advocacy Project and the Immigration Advocacy Project.  The Center also works on issues such as prisoner rights, the environment, hurricane assistance, unemployment, human trafficking, homelessness and youth at risk.  PIRC sponsors student internships with non-profit organizations and government agencies, and awards scholarships to 20 students in each class year to encourage public interest careers.
More information on the Pro Bono Publico Awards and the 2008 recipients is available on the ABA website.
With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.