Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Touro College
Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
300 Nassau Road
Huntington, NY 11743

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Tom Maligno
Director of Public Interest
P: (631) 421-2244 ext. 349

Category Type

Public Service Graduation Requirement Program

Description of Programs

Students must fulfill the Public Interest Law Perspective Requirement in order to graduate. Students may do so in one of three ways:

  • successful completion of one of the following clinics: Civil Rights Litigation Clinic, Criminal Law Clinic, Elder Law Clinic, International Human Rights/Asylum Clinic, Family Law Clinic, or Legal Institutions-Civil Clinic, when the placement is in a Pro Bono position
  • completion of forty (40) hours of Pro Bono work
  • completion of twenty (20) hours of Pro Bono work and successful completion of either Rights of the Poor or Racism and American Law.

The pro bono program is overseen by the Director of Public Interest. He has the responsibility for promoting and coordinating pro bono service. Pro bono service will count towards the Public Interest Law Perspective Requirement if it is legal in nature; unsalaried and without other compensation, such as academic credit; done under the supervision of an attorney; and designed in some way to directly or indirectly address the legal needs of poor persons or of the traditionally underrepresented. Work in a private firm will not count unless it is performed exclusively on behalf of an indigent or needy client referred to the firm through a pro bono matching program. Training time shall not be counted towards the requirement.

Location of Programs

Career Services


The full-time Director Of Public Interest Career Development spends 1/2 his time on Public Interest matters. The pro bono portion of the job is not specifically apportioned.

The student public interest group PILOT advises the program.


No specific budget; it is considered part of the responsibility of the Career Planning Office. Administrative support for pro bono group projects is provided through clinics and CPO.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

PILOT – Hosted 2005 Cover Retreat, Fundraiser for Loan Forgiveness

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

None listed


Upon completion of 40 hours of pro bono work, it is noted on the students' record that the Public Interest Law Perspective has been completed.

In addition, students public service work is recognized at a breakfast held the morning of graduation.

Pro bono and public interest work is also recognized with other Law School student awards.

Community Service

ACLU student chapter staffs a hotline and does research for the Suffolk Chapter of ACLU.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Tom Maligno
Director of Public Interest
P: (631) 421-2244 ext. 349

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Public Interest Law Perspective Requirement

Students may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing a clinic and doing 40 hours of pro bono.

Public Interest Centers

The Law School is in the process of creating a Public Interest Center.

Public Interest Clinics

Civil Rights Litigation I & II – Civil Rights Litigation Clinic offers hands-on experience litigating civil rights claims in both state and federal courts. Since 1989, this clinic has been a leading force in the movement to provide protection and advocacy for those who have been diagnosed as mentally ill. The clinic represents current and former residents of psychiatric facilities, enforcing significant constitutional and statutory rights, in areas such as forced treatment, abuse and neglect, unlawful confinement, civil commitment, and discharge planning. Many of the clinic's cases are on the cutting edge of the law, setting new standards for patients' rights and requiring the application of broader civil rights laws.

Students are introduced to the complexities of civil rights law and litigation by protecting and advancing the rights of the mentally ill and the disabled. Learning from faculty with nationally recognized expertise in mental health law gives students solid training in litigation strategies and techniques, as well as the creative dimension of expanding the law.

A minimum of ten (10) hours of clinical work is required, in addition to a weekly seminar that concentrates on developing the skills needed in civil rights litigation. Through simulations and mock exercises the seminar prepares students for the tasks they will undertake on behalf of clients.

Criminal Law Clinic – Students in the Criminal Law Clinic work approximately twelve (12) to fifteen (15) hours per week at a District Attorney's or Public Defender's Office in the New York City metropolitan area, under the supervision of the clinic's director and an attorney at the placement.

While observing the workings of the criminal justice system first-hand, students participate in all phases of criminal prosecution or defense. They attend arraignments; assist with bail motions and hearings; interview clients and witnesses; examine evidence, including crime scenes; conduct legal research and draft briefs and other legal documents; and attend pre-trial proceedings, trials, and sentencing hearings.

Discussions in the weekly three-hour seminar are based upon readings, simulations, and students' experiences at their placements, with particular scrutiny of the political, social, economic, and psychological factors that frequently determine the outcome of criminal prosecutions. Experiences in the criminal justice system offer compelling lessons in the ethical problems that are woven throughout criminal law practice. With insight gained from real-life experiences in the criminal courts, students grapple with these dilemmas as they learn practical skills and evaluate aspects of justice or the failure of justice in the criminal courts.

Elder Law Clinic (5 credits) – The Elder Law Clinic introduces students to the unique challenges of practicing law on behalf of the elderly, while also providing training in basic law practice skills. As the elderly population has increased, the field of elder law has become a growing specialty, demanding more sophisticated expertise to advise and assist clients effectively.

Under the supervision of experienced faculty, students spend twelve (12) to fifteen (15) hours per week advising and representing senior clients in a wide range of legal matters in courts, administrative agencies, and negotiation settings. Through their work, students experience law practice in the larger context of social, supportive, and advocacy services for the elderly. Students also develop an appreciation for the role of lawyers and legal institutions in protecting rights and enhancing the quality of life of the aging population.

While the focus is on serving elderly clients, students gain practical legal training in interviewing, counseling, negotiation, drafting, and advocacy, while providing legal advice and representation in areas such as health care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, wills, consumer issues, elder abuse, and age discrimination.

The clinic includes a weekly seminar, which features an interdisciplinary approach through insights from the fields of sociology, gerontology, psychology, and health facilities administration. The seminar is also the setting for practicing essential professional skills, using simulated problems or problems drawn from current cases to prepare for activities in actual cases.

Family Law – The Family Law Clinic offers students the opportunity to learn family law practice from a variety of perspectives, including litigation, negotiation, and court proceedings. Working seventeen (17) to twenty (20) hours a week under the supervision of experienced faculty and practitioners, students represent clients in divorce litigation, child support enforcement, and family offense proceedings.

Although the focus is on family law issues, the Clinic also provides training in skills applicable to the practice of law generally. Through an intensive training program supplemented by a weekly seminar, students learn to interview clients; investigate and develop relevant facts; negotiate on behalf of clients; draft litigation documents; and handle in-court proceedings, including divorce, child support, and domestic violence cases.

To prepare for their responsibilities, students participate in an intensive training program at the start of the semester, covering the dynamics of family violence, the social and psychological dimensions of domestic abuse, the system of shelters and social services available to victims, and the police and criminal court procedures involved in the response to domestic violence. Students also learn special skills needed to interview and counsel clients who have endured these traumas.

Because protecting victims of family violence is a major focus of the clinic's mission, students spend one day each week in Family Court, where they interview and represent clients seeking court protection. Whether they secure a negotiated agreement or a court order after a trial, students experience the satisfaction of knowing that by obtaining an order of protection, excluding the batterer from the home or confiscating a weapon, their efforts have gained the client a measure of safety.

International Human Rights Clinic – The International Human Rights-Immigration Litigation Clinic provides students with experience representing clients who have applied for political and other forms of asylum in the United States. Students interview applicants and witnesses, engage expert witnesses, prepare asylum applications, and represent clients before courts and the United States Department of Justice in both hearings and appeals.

Students counsel clients seeking protection from imprisonment, torture, summary execution, and abuse by oppressive governments. Most recently, a majority of the clinic's clients have been refugees from Tibet, where the Chinese occupation and systematic destruction of the Tibetan religion, language, and culture have created a growing number of monks, nuns, political protestors, and ordinary citizens seeking asylum in the United States. Participation in the clinic teaches students to be both competent technicians in this demanding field and compassionate counselors to clients who have endured great torment.

This clinic pioneered the development of programs designed to meet the needs of evening students. The clinic is designed so that almost all work-including interviewing clients and witnesses, gathering evidence, and meeting with faculty supervisors-can be performed during the evening hours and on weekends. Litigation or administrative representation takes place during normal working hours; however, students usually spend no more than one day each semester at judicial or administrative proceedings.

Students work a minimum of ten (10) hours per week on clients' cases, and attend a weekly seminar, discussing progress, problems, issues, ethical concerns, and strategy in on-going cases. Seminar meetings also provide instruction and simulated practice in the advocacy techniques essential to asylum litigation.

Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Rotation – The Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Rotation places students with Nassau/Suffolk Law Services, Inc., a private, not-for-profit law firm that provides free legal assistance in civil matters to low-income individuals. The rotation is an intensive experience, designed to train students in a broad range of practice skills. Each student is given the opportunity to learn such essential lawyering skills as interviewing, fact development, case management, negotiating, counseling, drafting, and representing clients at administrative or judicial proceedings.

Nassau/Suffolk Law Services is well known both for the breadth and quality of its services. Students may be placed in units covering such areas of the law as housing, domestic violence, disability, welfare, consumer, family, or elder law. Because students work twenty (20) hours each week in the rotation, they become an integral part of the office and are given significant responsibility for cases. Under guidelines established by the courts, students can advise clients and appear in judicial proceedings, so the rotation affords an environment in which to strengthen and refine law practice skills.

Students meet once a week for a two-hour faculty-led seminar, which provides the opportunity to discuss substantive and ethical issues arising in their field placements.

Not-For-Profit Clinic – The Not-for-Profit Corporation Law Clinic is dedicated to assisting community groups and non-profit organizations. These entities provide a large and important array of services in any community: health care; education; children's programs; senior citizens' services; advocacy for disadvantaged groups; recreational and entertainment projects; and much more. Whether long-established or recently formed to address an emerging problem, both the organizations and their staff and board members need sound legal advice to function properly, fulfill legal requirements, and carry out their charitable purposes.

The clinic enables students to engage in the practice of basic corporate and non-profit law while helping community groups accomplish important goals. Under the supervision of experienced faculty, students advise groups on appropriate forms of organization to accomplish their goals. They also provide ongoing legal services in matters such as creation of corporate structure and by-laws; application for tax-exempt status; compliance with federal, state, and local laws; government filings; fundraising; advice on board and volunteer liability; restrictions on lobbying; and other actions of the organization.

Clinic students work an average of eight (8) hours each week on client matters typically in the evenings; they also participate in a weekly seminar covering the laws and procedures that apply to the non-profit groups and corporations. (Evening division students receive enrollment preference.)


Touro administers Civil and Criminal Externship Clinics where individual students are placed in both public and private firms. Touro also has a Rotation Clinic where students are placed at the US Attorney's Office and Nassau/Suffolk Law Services for extended periods.

Classes with a Public Service Component

None listed

Public Interest Journals

None listed

PI Career Support Center

The Career Office maintains an extensive public interest resource section, including a dedicated part of its website.

Touro is one of the sponsoring schools for the NYU Public Interest Job Fair. We also participate in the New York City Bar Public Interest Career Event.

Annually, we bring NY metropolitan area public interest employers to campus.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

For a description, see

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

Summer public interest fellowships are funded by Federal work study , proceeds of an auction sponsored by both Touro and its students and grants raised from private indivduals and organizations.. Fellowships are $3,500 for ten weeks of work, and approximately 40 are given each year.Dean frequently adds to these monies with law school funds.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Public Interest Lawyer In residence – Every year Touro has a "Public Interest Lawyer in Residence" program. During this two day event a distinguished leader in the national pulic interest community teaches classes, meets informally with students and delivers a public lecture.

Robert Cover Retreat – Touro students organized the 2005 retreat that brought together over 200 law school participants wi

Rebellious Lawering – Touro students and administrators participate

How I Spent My Summer Doing Good – Annual program in which public interest summer fellowship students report on their summer activities

Student Public Interest Groups

Public Interest Law of Touro - Hosted 2005 Cover Retreat, Held fundraiser for Loan Forgiveness; Sponsored Speakers Series

August 6, 2018