A record number of Fordham Law students volunteered their time to important legal and non-legal causes during this year’s Public Service Day.
Around 140 students participated in nine projects organized by student-group leaders affiliated with Fordham’s Public Interest Resource Center and Student Bar Association. Seven of the nine events occurred Aug. 25, with the remaining two—Birthday Cards for Seniors and Consumer Debt Awareness Project—taking place Aug. 23.
Public Service Day presents a great opportunity for students to receive information about Fordham’s 28 student-led public interest groups and learn about PIRC, said Leah Horowitz ’06, director of public interest student engagement. It also provides incoming students an opportunity to meet upper-class leaders and become involved in service projects from the outset of their Law School journey.
“Public Service Day sends a message to students from the beginning about Fordham’s ‘In the service of others’ legal education groundwork,” Horowitz said. The impressive turnout for the voluntary Public Service Day, she added, showed how committed the new students are to engaging with the Law School’s principles.
This year’s Public Service Day projects included the following:
- Birthday Cards for Seniors sponsored by Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA)
- Consumer Debt Awareness Project sponsored by Consumer Law Advocates
- Gardens of the Battery sponsored by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
- Ending Family Separation Installation sponsored by the Immigration Advocacy Project
- Health Clinic Escort sponsored by If/When/How Lawyering for Reproductive Justice
- Posts for Votes sponsored by Asian-Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA)
- Protect the Legacy of the Voting Rights Act sponsored by Fordham Law Advocates for Voting Rights
- Riverside Park Cleanup sponsored by Environmental Law Advocates
- Unemployment Advocate Training sponsored by the Unemployment Action Center
Horowitz noted she was excited to see SBA groups such as BLSA, LALSA, and APALSA participate in this year’s event.
Public Service Day, in addition to providing an opportunity for students to live out the Law School’s ideals and meet other students and administrators, can provide its participants a tangible connection to their new educational community. Horowitz cited as an example the Immigration Advocacy Project’s Ending Family Separation Installation, an exhibit depicting immigration detention facilities across the country that was displayed at the Law School.
“That foundation, connection, and knowledge of things that are happening at the Law School is really valuable,” Horowitz said. “It definitely sets up incoming students for additional public service work and Law School involvement.”