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Suffolk law innovative program to receive ABA award for improving access to legal services

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Suffolk law innovative program to receive ABA award for improving access to legal services

By John Glynn

CHICAGO, Jan. 22, 2016 — The ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services has given its 2016 Louis M Brown Award for Legal Access to Suffolk University Law School in Boston for its program uniquely combining course work and clinical opportunities.

Suffolk’s Accelerator-to-Practice Program enables graduates to effectively and creatively provide personal legal services within the law firm setting. Courses include “Legal Problems in Everyday Life” and “Lawyering in the Age of Smart Machines,” along with an array of substantive law topics. Students spend their final year representing clients in fee-shifting cases in a law firm within the school in which they learn practice skills, client retention and service, risk management, and other skills necessary for efficient delivery of legal services.

The committee also recognized the Lawyer Entrepreneur Assistance Program, an incubator consortium of law schools in Orange County, Calif., with Meritorious Recognition. The program trains new lawyers to create solo or small firm practices that serve people who do not qualify for free legal services but are unable to pay prevailing market rates. Law schools in the partnership are the University of California, Irvine School of Law, Chapman University School of Law, Whittier School of Law, Western State College of Law and the Legal Aid Society of Orange County.

Through public voting, the committee will present its Brown Select award to Military Mondays, a partnership between William & Mary Law School's Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic and Starbucks’ Armed Forces Network. On Mondays, professors and students from the Puller Clinic provide advice and counsel to veterans about their claims, rights and legal matters over coffee at a Starbucks in Williamsburg, Va. Nearly 4,000 people voted for the 33 nominees listed on the committee’s website.

The Brown Select award originated in 1995 and honors the work of Louis M. Brown, who for more than 60 years worked toward improving access to legal services for those of moderate and middle incomes. The 2016 awards will be given on Feb. 6 by the Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services during the ABA Midyear Meeting in San Diego.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. Our privacy statement can be found online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews