Miami Law's Legal Corps has been awarded a grant by The Miami Foundation, which will fund a six-month fellowship in the Housing Unit Foreclosure Defense Project at Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc.
"We are grateful to The Miami Foundation for its support," said Dean Patricia D. White. "This grant simultaneously supports the University of Miami School of Law Legal Corps and Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. Adding The Miami Foundation to our partnership will allow more people in need to receive legal assistance."
Established in 1967, The Miami Foundation provides civic leadership, bringing people together to tackle issues of concern in the community. For the past 44 years, The Miami Foundation has helped hundreds of people create personal, permanent and powerful legacies by establishing custom, charitable funds.
"This project is aligned with the priorities of the Miami Foundation," said President and CEO of The Miami Foundation Javier Alberto Soto. "The charitable resources donors provide allow us to invest in programs such as the University of Miami School of Law Legal Corps."
UM School of Law Legal Corps is a post-graduate fellowship program providing public interest organizations, government agencies and the judiciary with Bar-certified attorneys. Designed to further the School of Law's strong commitment to public service, Legal Corps provides underfunded and understaffed public sector legal agencies, at no cost, the benefit of recent School of Law graduates.
"The Miami Foundation's generous support allows Legal Corps to carry out its commitment to public service," said Melissa Fernandez-Stiers, director of Educational Programming and Professional Development at Legal Corps. "One Fellow at a time, Legal Corps ensures access to justice by the neediest citizens in our community and affords recent law graduates the opportunity to use their skills for the public sector's benefit. We are grateful to The Miami Foundation for partnering with us in these efforts."
Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. provides free civil legal services to the neediest individuals in our community. Legal Services' clients are primarily women, children, seniors, and the working poor. In many cases, Legal Services is the safety net preventing these individuals from becoming homeless or dependent on welfare. On a daily basis, their team of attorneys, who are organized into legal specialty units and projects, provide high quality representation to clients with problems relating to housing, health care, education, disability benefits, family issues, and employment.
The Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Project provides high-quality legal assistance and representation to homeowners faced with foreclosure. In addition to court representation, the Project partners with Florida Housing Finance Corporation housing counselors to provide homeowners with alternatives to foreclosure. The project uses the courts to protect elderly individuals and low income families who are often the prime targets of illegal predatory lending and other unfair practices by lenders. The Project prevents the loss of homes by helping these individuals and families rescind unfair mortgages, reduce interest rates, and return finance charges.