Touro Law Announces International Center for Post-Graduate Development & Justice

Date: June 25, 2013
Fred Rooney, Director of new International Center for Post-Graduate Development & Justice
Fred Rooney, Director of new International Center for Post-Graduate Development & Justice
Media Contact:

Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
(631) 761-7062

Central Islip, N.Y. - Touro Law Center is pleased to announce the creation of the International Center for Post-Graduate Development & Justice, to be headed by renowned access to justice leader Fred Rooney. The Center will serve as a national clearinghouse for the incubator and legal residency movement among law schools, as well as host an international conference on post-graduate legal education, provide training sessions for students, professors, bar leaders and members of the judiciary on how to create programs designed to increase access to justice, and offer consulting services to those interested in post-graduate legal education. In his new role, Mr. Rooney will also oversee the launch of Touro Law’s incubator, providing affordable office space as well as support and supervision for recent graduates interested in entering solo practice.

Touro Law Dean Patricia Salkin stated, “Law school incubators are an emerging trend that benefit recent law school graduates while helping to close the access to justice gap. Our incubator is scheduled to launch this academic year and will enable Touro Law graduates to work in a supportive setting while providing affordable legal services to the community. In addition, our Center will serve as a national and international resource for this movement. Fred Rooney will be an invaluable member of our staff and is already recognized as a leading educator and administrator in this field. The Touro Law community looks forward to welcoming Fred on July 1st and to future collaborations that will result from this endeavor.”

Fred Rooney is an expert in developing innovative approaches to increase access to justice for underserved populations, including utilizing post-legal education for recent law school graduates. He has extensive international experience doing pro bono work, delivering public lectures and serving as International Liaison and first Scholar in Residence to Symbiosis Law School in Pune, India. Mr. Rooney is highly skilled at providing training in entrepreneurial skills required to establish and maintain an economically viable small law firm. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Association of Law Schools Father Robert Drinan Award for forwarding the ethic of public service through personal service, program design or management.

As a 2012-13 Fulbright scholar at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo’s Faculty of Jurisprudence and Political Science in the Dominican Republic, Mr. Rooney successfully conceptualized and launched the first law-school based Incubator for Justice outside of the United States. He also launched and implemented Community Legal Resource Network’s (CLRN) nationally and internationally recognized Incubator for Justice which was awarded the American Bar Association 2010 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access. While at Symbiosis Law School in India, he played an instrumental role in the launch of a full-time legal aid clinic in a rural sector of Pune by assisting Symbiosis Law School in modeling an Access to Justice initiative based on CUNY’s CLRN program. 

“I am honored to join the Touro Law community to launch the incubator project and head up this new and exciting International Center for Post-Graduate Development & Justice,” said Rooney. “My experience and enthusiasm coupled with Touro Law’s resources and commitment to access to justice will ensure we are making a significant impact in helping to close the justice gap, while helping to launch the careers of recent law graduates and adding a new dimension to legal education.”

Deputy Chief Administrative Judge of New York City Courts and Director of the New York State Access to Justice Program the Hon. Fern A. Fisher stated, “Training new lawyers to provide affordable legal services has resulted in greater access to justice for scores of New Yorkers with unmet legal needs. Mr. Rooney and I worked closely together to design and implement CUNY Law's LaunchPad for Justice, a court-based program that serves thousands of New Yorkers each year. Additionally, after recently visiting the first incubator outside of the United States, located in the Dominican Republic and also created by Fred Rooney, I can attest to the inherent value of his work. I laud Dean Salkin and Touro Law for having the foresight of bringing Mr. Rooney on board.”