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SU law clinic receives $429,000 state grant
SU law clinic receives $429,000 state grantDecember 19, 2006Jaclyn D. Grossojgrosso@law.syr.edu
The Syracuse University College of Law’s Office of Clinical Legal Education received a $429,000 grant to continue its securities arbitration work in the Syracuse community for an additional three years. This award, provided by the New York State Attorney General’s Office, enables the Securities Arbitration and Consumer Clinic (SACC) to accept new clients, develop an education outreach program, and expand its client services capabilities.
“With this additional and unanticipated funding, we will be able to expand the SACC case load,” says Mary Helen McNeal, professor of law and director of clinical legal education. “This is great experience for our law students to put their classroom-based knowledge into a real-world setting and help investors who might not be otherwise represented.”
Generally, the clinic takes on clients who make less than $50,000 a year and handles cases involving consumer fraud such as home repair scams, lemon vehicles or improper debt collection practices. Faculty members select cases based on the client’s financial situation, the merits of the claim, and whether or not the prospective client would be able to secure counsel elsewhere.
“We are excited about the grant because it will allow us to provide more legal assistance to those who may not been otherwise be able to get a lawyer to take their case,” says Gary Pieples, visiting professor and director of SACC.
Now in its third year, this in-house clinic was created to provide representation to small investors from across Central New York who have lost money as a result of the fraudulent or other harmful conduct of a broker-dealer. The original grant from the attorney general’s office funded the SACC clinic for two years with money that came from a settlement from one of the attorney general’s securities arbitration cases, as part of the Global Settlement Agreement.
The Office of Clinical Legal Education includes five other clinics — Children’s Rights and Family Law Clinic, Disability Rights Clinic, Criminal Defense Clinic, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and Community Development Law Clinic — along with an externship program. New cases will not be considered until law students return for the Spring 2007 semester.
For more information, call the Office of Clinical Legal Education at 315-443-9582 or visit http://law.syr.edu/academics/clinicaleducation.