On February 27, the Law Alumni Association (LAA) and the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) co-hosted the Public Service Benefit, which honored several alumni who have made a significant impact through their work in public interest law. The event also served as a first-time merging of the LAA’s annual member meeting and PILC’s annual benefit.
“In the years since I’ve graduated [from NYU Law], the Law School’s commitment to nurturing public interest attorneys has truly grown exponentially,” said Assistant Dean for Public Service Lisa Hoyes ’99 in her introductory remarks. “Our students…are some of the smartest, most principled, most hard-working people I know.”
This year’s LAA Public Service Pro Bono Award was given to Felicity Conrad ’13, co-founder and CEO of Paladin, a nonprofit platform that connects lawyers to pro bono work.
“When I received my NYU acceptance letter…I thought I was the luckiest person in the world to get into law school here,” Conrad said. “I never would have thought it was possible to be here right now and to do the kind of work that I get to do.”
Anthony Enriquez ’13, director of the Unaccompanied Minors Program at Catholic Charities Community Services, took home PILC’s individual Public Service Award for his work ensuring quality legal services to immigrant youth. Enriquez is also the co-creator of the Immigrant Children Advocates’ Relief Effort, a coalition of legal service organizations that connect youth facing deportation with free legal representation in New York City.
A second Public Service Award from PILC went to the Suspension Representation Project (SRP), an advocacy group begun at NYU Law in 2007 as part of the Education Law and Policy Society. The SRP, now a stand-alone student organization, trains law students to represent low-income public school students and their parents in suspension hearings in New York, helping more students to stay in school. The SRP also partners with local organizations to improve school responses to student behavior.
“This is a fantastic example of the potential of our students,” said Dean Trevor Morrison, presenting members of SRP with their award, “of the leadership of our students, and the kind of impact in the world that our students can make.”
The benefit ended with a live auction, emceed by Morrison, with offerings that included a poker night with Cynthia Estlund, Catherine A. Rein Professor of Law and Samuel Issacharoff, Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law; a Zumba class and tacos with Lisa Hoyes; vintage ACLU memorabilia from Helen Hershkoff, Herbert M. and Svetlana Wachtell Professor of Constitutional Law, and more. The proceeds will help fund student engagement in summer public interest work.
Posted March 19, 2019