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NY Volunteer Attorney Programs Benefit from ‘Lost Generation’ of Law Grads

Posted Aug 30, 2010 9:18 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Many underemployed law grads from the classes of 2009 and 2010 are beefing up their resumés with volunteer work, and that’s a boon for New York’s court system.

The legal sector in New York shrunk by 10 percent over the past year, making the job search difficult for those who aren’t in the top 10 percent of their law school classes, Crain’s New York Business (sub. req.) reports. In an effort to help their grads, many law schools in the state started working with the court system to send grads into its Volunteer Attorney Programs. The result: “Local courts are now flooded with young lawyers looking for experience and something to do,” the story says.

One of the volunteers is New York Law School grad Alyssa Farruggia, who works for free nearly full-time with Staten Island courts. “You have your sights on the job at a big firm, but when that doesn't happen, you've got to do something else,” she told the publication. “The most important thing was keeping my resumé going.”

The story also quotes Jacqueline Haberfeld, who helps place volunteers. “Law schools have realized they're going to have a whole generation of left-behind lawyers who did not get hired,” she said. The volunteer program is “great for them and it's great for us.”

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