2004-06-30 / Features

Bill Seeks To Attract Attorneys To Public Law Sector


Judge Jonathan Lippman, Chief Administrative Judge, Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau, Queens DA Richard Brown, Bronx DA Robert Johnson,  Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo, Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin and Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes.Judge Jonathan Lippman, Chief Administrative Judge, Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau, Queens DA Richard Brown, Bronx DA Robert Johnson, Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo, Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin and Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes.

Leaders of the judicial and legal communities recently rallied behind a bill introduced by Assemblymember Brian McLaughlin that seeks to attract attorneys to the field of public sector law.

Sponsored by state Senator Serphin Maltese (R–C, Middle Village), the measure would establish a special fund and program that would reimburse educational loans of attorneys who enter the field of public sector law.

McLaughlin (D–Flushing) said the bill enables "eligible attorneys," defined as individuals working for three years in district attorneys’ offices, municipal government and legal services, to apply for annual grants of up to $6,000 per year for six years.

"Some of the most idealistic young lawyers, who yearn to tackle society’s most challenging problems, often don’t consider a career in public sector law because of the great gap in income compared with private law," McLaughlin stated.

"When you earn only $40,000 a year and have to pay a student loan of $100,000," he pointed out, "the personal and financial hardships offer few options. This legislation will go a long way towards providing incentives for greater numbers of lawyers, and from more diverse communities, to enter and stay in a career dedicated to public law."

Among those who joined in the rally supporting the bill were District Attorneys Richard Brown of Queens; Robert Morgenthau of Manhattan; Charles Hynes of Brooklyn and Robert Johnson of The Bronx.

—John Toscano


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