It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Stein 25th anniversary celebration on April 19! View photos from the event.
The celebration was a reminder of the program’s dynamism and the accomplishments of its large and growing network of alumni and students. From public defenders to nonprofit executive directors to public interest law firm partners to law school faculty to direct civil legal services advocates, Stein alumni are at the forefront of social justice lawyering in New York City and beyond. And, as current Stein Scholars prepare to launch their careers, the next generation is following suit. They are pouring their energy into leading the Public Interest Resource Center student groups, launching new service projects (like this year’s know-your-rights program for incarcerated youth at Rikers’ Island), and taking on a wide range of internships, clinic projects and, of course, the Stein seminar projects. Well over 100 students and alumni, representing every class of Stein Scholars, had the chance to reconnect, form new bonds, and share their experiences at the 25th Anniversary celebration with Stein directors and faculty mentors by their side.
In opening remarks, Stein alumni and event emcees Carmen Huertas-Noble ’02 and Leanne Cunningham ’16 reflected on the program’s importance to their respective careers as a tenured law professor at CUNY and a housing attorney at the Legal Aid Society. Professor Bruce Green and Dean Matthew Diller spoke about the work the program has been able to accomplish thanks to a generous gift from Fordham Law alumnus Louis Stein.
Stein Faculty Director Professor Kimani Paul-Emile recognized the incredible breadth of Stein Scholars public interest work and the their enormous contributions to legal services, nonprofit organizations, academia, city, state, and federal government, and pro bono practice at private firms. In a keynote address, Professor Zephyr Teachout implored the audience to carry out their public interest careers with love. Recounting her early career as a capital defender, she spoke of the importance of being grounded and maintaining human connections, even in the face of blatant injustices in the legal system.
Stein Scholars 1L Yazmine Nichols and 3L Bronwyn Roantree rounded out the evening’s remarks with their perspectives as current students: one who recently joined the program this spring, and the other about to graduate and begin the first of two federal clerkships.
The speeches were inspiring and the location was beautiful; we are deeply grateful to Outten and Golden for graciously hosting the event at its New York office. What made the 25th anniversary particularly wonderful was the fact that it was a celebration of our community of lawyers and students who are dedicated to putting our education to work in the service of the greater good. As Aisha and I both settle into our new roles, we’ll seek to strengthen the bonds within this incredible community, including providing more opportunities for us to get together to talk about our mutual interests and work, developing the mentoring program, and looking for new ways to connect alumni and students to career opportunities.
Please get in touch to let us know what we can do to strengthen our program. Give us ideas for events, volunteer to serve on the Alumni Advisory Board, and offer to mentor a current Stein Scholar. Last but not least, please consider a donation.