On April 9, the Feerick Center organized a triple CLARO celebration. The center honored the founders of Brooklyn CLARO—the first CLARO program to be organized in New York City, in late 2006; the founders of Manhattan CLARO, which celebrates this year the 10th anniversary of its launch; and all the 2017 Bronx and Manhattan CLARO volunteers.
The standing room–only event brought together legal services, bar association, and court leaders who initially created the Brooklyn CLARO program; the law student and attorney volunteers who staffed the early sessions for both Brooklyn and Manhattan CLARO; and other CLARO partners and volunteers involved in establishing and sustaining the Bronx and Manhattan CLARO programs.
Special presentations were made to Sidney Cherubin of the Brooklyn Volunteer Lawyers Project who helped found the Brooklyn CLARO program and has been involved in its oversight ever since, and Lois Davis, director of Pro Bono Programs at the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA), who similarly has been involved in the oversight of Manhattan CLARO since its launch in February 2008. Organizations that received special recognition for their invaluable contributions to the Manhattan CLARO program included Manhattan Legal Services and NYCLA’s Pro Bono Committee. Numerous other current and former volunteers received awards, and several honorees traveled from as far as Minnesota and Texas to attend the event.
The Feerick Center also recognized 2017 Bronx and Manhattan CLARO volunteers. Mary McCune of Manhattan Legal Services (Manhattan CLARO) and Adriana Pepin (Bronx CLARO) received special recognition for their exemplary service. Recent Fordham Law grads Michael Moore ’18 and Tzipora Zeines ’18 were also recognized for their dedication and commitment to the Manhattan CLARO program during their law school careers.
Speakers included Fordham Law School Dean Matthew Diller, who opened the program and welcomed everyone; Justice Edwina G. Mendelson, the deputy chief administrative judge for the Office of Justice Initiatives, who presented the awards to the Brooklyn CLARO founders; Michael J. McNamara, president of NYCLA, who presented the awards to the Manhattan CLARO founders; Professor John D. Feerick, founder and senior counsel at the Feerick Center for Social Justice, who introduced Mr. McNamara; and Dora Galacatos, executive director of the Feerick Center, who served as master of ceremonies and made special presentations to 2017 CLARO volunteers.
The event celebrated the extraordinary commitment of many partners in the courts, the organized bar, the legal services community and—perhaps most importantly—the volunteer network of attorneys, law students, translators, and others who dedicate themir time and talents to ensuring that New Yorkers in need receive high-quality legal assistance on consumer issues.