MFY Legal Services has announced the establishment of the Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler Fellowship at MFY in honor of the Manhattan law firm, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler LLP, long recognized for its substantial pro bono contributions in New York City.
MFY and Patterson Belknap will jointly select the Fellow, who will serve for a two-year period starting in the fall of 2005. The Patterson Belknap Fellow will provide free civil legal assistance to disadvantaged clients and address areas of emerging legal need for underserved New Yorkers. It is anticipated that the Fellow will bring targeted litigation in support of adult home and nursing home reform, as well as broader disability and equality issues.
Lynn M. Kelly, the executive director of MFY, said: "We are very excited about this opportunity when legal resources for the poor are so scarce. Patterson Belknap has long been a pro bono leader. Our work with Patterson Belknap for these many years serves as a model of a public legal services-private law firm partnership."
According to Lisa E. Cleary, the partner at Patterson Belknap who heads the firm's pro bono efforts, "In addition to providing direct legal services to individual clients, the Patterson Belknap Fellow will work closely with community-based organizations that partner with MFY to address broader issues affecting large numbers of low-income New Yorkers."
Ms. Kelly also noted Ms. Cleary's contributions to MFY including her service as board chair of MFY for five years.