NSU Receives $1 Million Grant to Create Innovative Law Clinic
Funding to Provide Services for Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled Adults
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. – Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Shepard Broad College of Law received a $1 million grant from The Taft Foundation to establish an innovative clinical program to address the legal needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (AIDD) and their families. The NSU AIDD Law Clinic will be launched in the fall of 2016 and will begin enrolling third-year students to staff it by January 2017.
“Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a myriad of legal issues that can impede their independence and infringe on their individual rights,” said Jon Garon, J.D., dean of NSU’s Shepard Broad College of Law. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to serve this vastly underserved population by partnering with The Taft Foundation to provide pro bono legal services.”
While the particular fields of representation will vary depending on client needs, the most likely focus areas will be public benefits, housing, and educational rights. NSU’s College of Law will be working closely with the Brooklyn Law School which introduced a similar clinic last spring, also funded by a grant from The Taft Foundation.
In addition, the AIDD clinic will provide community outreach through workshops, events, and community training to educate and encourage these adults, their families, service providers, and the general public regarding issues facing the affected population.
Prior to his passing in February, 2011, Don Taft was a business leader, philanthropist and a strong supporter of the South Florida community. In 2009, he combined his passion for athletics, helping special needs youth and NSU when he made a generous gift to the university and the Don Taft University Center was named in his honor, becoming the permanent home of the Special Olympics Broward County.
“This $1 million grant will enable NSU, through the Shepard Broad College of Law, to continue reaching out to South Florida’s special needs community to improve their day-to-day adult lives,” said NSU President Dr. George L. Hanbury. “Since serving the community is one NSU’s core values, we welcome this opportunity to further strengthen our commitment to this key group of deserving people.”
The $1 million grant will be distributed in $250,000 increments over four years.
Garon added, “The clinic will offer our students the opportunity to realize their potential by exposing them to a wide range of skills, including litigation, planning and drafting, and mediation. It’s an unparalleled laboratory for them to develop their professional identities. We hope it will inspire many students to work on behalf of clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their legal careers.”
The AIDD clinic expands the clinical legal education provided to NSU Law students and service to the Broward County underprivileged community. NSU Law also offers ten additional in-house and field-placement based clinical programs. In addition to opportunities for law students, the NSU Law clinic recently added a Legal Incubator program which partners with newly admitted lawyers to expand their professional training while expanding pro bono legal services to the community.
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Shepard Broad College of Law: Nova Southeastern University’s College of Law offers a cutting edge, skills-centered academic program in three-year full-time and four-year part-time divisions. With its recently redeveloped clinical programs, every NSU Law student is guaranteed a live-client experience. In-house clinical studies are supplemented by full-time field placement opportunities practicing law in Florida, across the United States, or select locations throughout the globe. To solidify student success after graduation, NSU Law pioneered a curriculum on the business of lawyering through the Global Law Leadership Initiative. NSU Law students have a myriad of curricular opportunities, including a rich, diverse curriculum, concentrations in International Law or Health Law; dual degree programs abroad in Rome, Barcelona, or Prague; dual degree programs at many of NSU’s 17 colleges; and much more. For more information, please visit: www.law.nova.edu/
About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional degree levels. A private, not-for-profit institution with more than 26,000 students, NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. For more than 50 years, NSU has been awarding degrees in a wide range of fields, while fostering groundbreaking research and an impactful commitment to community. Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification, and is also the largest private, not-for-profit institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit www.nova.edu for more information about NSU and realizingpotential.nova.edu for more information on the largest fundraising campaign in NSU history.
Marla Oxenhandler | Office of Public Affairs