Fordham, Cornell Law School Clinics Offer Coronavirus Help

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Fordham Law’s Federal Litigation Clinic was featured in an article for New York Law Journal for its response and quick action to serve its clients due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“No matter what your subject matter is, there are COVID-related issues, so you don’t need to start a COVID clinic,” said Michael W. Martin, the director of clinics at Fordham Law. “In many ways, the COVID issues will come to you regardless of what you’re doing because it’s affecting society on such a plenary level.”

Fordham University School of Law

As coronavirus became a serious threat in U.S., Fordham’s Federal Litigation Clinic sprang into action. The three professors and 12 students in the clinic immediately began reaching out to clients in prison, as well as their families, to determine whether they have any underlying conditions that make them especially vulnerable to the COVID-19. That work has been made all the more difficult as prisons have closed to all visitors, including lawyers, and prisoners have had increasingly less access to phone calls, said clinic director Michael W. Martin.

“COVID, in and of itself, has not been deemed worthy of emptying the prisons,” Martin said in an interview Thursday. “You are going to need COVID-plus, which goes to increased susceptibility for a particular person, or the circumstances are such that the person is so close to release that we should consider releasing they early.”

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