Miami Law's Legal Corps was named an award winner in the Merit Finalist category in the 2013 Community Partnership Award competition by Mutual of America.
The Mutual of America Community Partnership Award annually honors the outstanding contributions that ten nonprofit organizations, in partnership with public, private, and other social sector organizations, make to society. Since its inception in 1996, the Community Partnership Award has recognized 180 partnerships from cities and towns all across America.
Miami Law launched Legal Corps in 2010 to address the significant problem that low-income individuals have obtaining legal representation or otherwise accessing the civil court system to protect their essential needs. This postgraduate fellowship program places newly certified School of Law graduates — called Legal Corps Fellows — in understaffed and underfunded public interest organizations, government agencies and judicial chambers throughout the nation.
The program also provides recent law graduates facing a challenging job market with valuable training, experience and an opportunity to serve. Fellows are given full-time employment for up to six months and a monthly stipend.
"Our model has been extremely successful," explained Patricia White, Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law. "To date, 200 Legal Corps Fellows have provided tens of thousands of hours of legal assistance and more than 90% of these Fellows have found permanent employment."
The Mutual of America Community Partnership Award recognizes outstanding nonprofit organizations in the United States that have shown exemplary leadership, who are working together as equal partners, not as donors and recipients, to build a cohesive community that serves as a model for collaborating with others for the greater good.
"All of the 2013 honorees are leaders in society, creating innovative and effective solutions to help those in need," said Thomas J. Moran, Chairman, President and CEO, Mutual of America. "Through the Community Partnership Award, Mutual of America is proud to recognize, support and help extend the reach of these vital partnerships."