Debevoise Partners with Court Square Law Project, Innovative Start-Up Program to Provide Legal Services to Moderate-Income Clients

15 October 2015

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is pleased to announce its participation as a “Founding Sponsor” of the newly-launched Court Square Law Project, a unique program created through a partnership with The New York City Bar Association (“City Bar”), the City University of New York (“CUNY”) School of Law and leading law firms to address the persistent justice gap in America and the professional crisis that continues to affect new lawyers.

The Court Square Law Project will train and deploy new lawyers to deliver legal services to persons of moderate means in areas of chronic underrepresentation. The Court Square Law Project will accept applications later this fall from recent graduates of any law school who are admitted to practice in New York State. It will be housed in Court Square, Long Island City, at CUNY School of Law, which will provide a special graduate law program for participants. As one of the “Founding Sponsors,” Debevoise has pledged $100,000 in start-up funding for the venture. The City Bar will provide the Court Square Law Project with guidance, seasoned attorneys to serve as mentors to the fellows and instructors, and assistance with practice development through various programs. Court Square Law Project Fellows will benefit from many CUNY Law advantages, including contemporary office space, library resources, and IT and other support.

The Court Square Law Project will enroll up to ten new attorney fellows in each of the first four years of the five-year pilot program. Employment will take the form of a two-year fellowship residency in which participants will receive a stipend, legal experience, curriculum-based training, mentoring, legal supervision, and other tools necessary to help them transition to a self-sustaining law practice. Visit the website at

The New York City Bar Association, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the legal profession, promoting reform of the law and access to justice, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association, through its 24,000 members, continues to work for political, legal, and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.

Founded in 1983, CUNY School of Law is the premier public interest law school in the country. The school trains lawyers to serve the underprivileged and disempowered and to make a difference in their communities. A greater percentage of graduates from CUNY Law choose careers in public interest and public service than any other law school in the nation. National Jurist ranks CUNY Law first in the nation in placing graduates in public interest law jobs, second in the nation for diversity, and sixth in the nation for best public interest law school.

Debevoise has long been recognized as a global leader in pro bono work. The firm placed No. 1 overall and No. 1 in pro bono among all U.S.-based law firms in The American Lawyer’s “10-Year A-List,” and is a charter signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge™, agreeing to commit at least 5% of annual billed time to pro bono matters, as well as to the New York City Bar Statement of Pro Bono Principles. For each of the last three years, Debevoise has been honored as one of Law360’s “Pro Bono Firms of the Year.” In 2014 alone, Debevoise attorneys in the U.S. averaged 123 hours of pro bono work and placed third in the average number of pro bono hours billed per lawyer in The American Lawyer’s survey of pro bono work.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. We deliver effective solutions to our clients’ most important legal challenges, applying clear commercial judgment and a distinctively collaborative approach.