December 16, 2013
Moving through New York’s legal and social justice communities, we see the impact of CUNY School of Law everywhere. Students are interning in our city’s nonprofit organizations. Alumni are seeking justice as public defenders and judges. Others are improving the lives of average citizens who, all too often, are unrepresented in the legal system.
Within these pages, you’ve read about the vital work being done by faculty, students, and alumni in Haiti under the auspices of the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic. You’ve seen how the school is helping American Muslims protect their civil rights in an environment of unfair surveillance practices besieging their community. And you’ve gotten a glimpse of the profound impact our alumni are having in the HIV/AIDS community.
The work of CUNY Law and the extraordinary value of its alumni are in more demand than ever. Thirty years ago, who could have imagined the impact we would be making on the world?
CUNY Law is no longer a hidden treasure buried next to a cemetery in Flushing. Its new, state-of-the art facility in Long Island City is the talk of the legal community and beyond. It’s time to share more ubiquitously who and what we are and the impact that we have, with our neighbors, with our colleagues, and, most importantly, with the progressive philanthropic community.
We need to create partnerships and relationships that will sustain summer fellowships and innovative programs like the Pipeline to Justice, which enhances the diversity of the profession, and the LaunchPad for Justice, which provides access to justice for those who need it most.
I’m delighted with how many names appear on the donor honor roll in this issue of Public Square. But we can do so much better. There is more work to be done, and we have more lawyers to produce—committed individuals who will advocate for social justice and win!
– Rebecca Seawright (’92)
Rebecca Seawright is a graduate of the CUNY Law class of 1992 and is a member of the school’s board of visitors. She is the chair of the board of directors of the Feminist Press, an independent, nonprofit literary publisher that promotes freedom of expression and social justice.