Bankruptcy Clinic Helps Low-Income Residents

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The Eleanor R. Cristol and Judge A. Jay Cristol Bankruptcy Pro Bono Assistance Clinic strives to offer bankruptcy services to individuals in the Miami-Dade area at no cost, while providing students of Miami Law with a unique and unparalleled experience providing assistance.

The clinic works closely with Dade Legal Aid: Put Something Back to offer help to indigent clients. This year, the Miami Law clinic was more capable than ever to assist. Eight students took part in the clinic each semester and under the guidance of a dozen mentor attorneys, who guided the students and provided their time pro bono to the clinic, collaborating on over 20 pro bono cases over the course of a two-semester program.

Of the Miami-Dade residents the clinic could help, several were individuals who have had found themselves upside down with their credit card bills; others were business owners who have been met with misfortune on the business end, leading them into bankruptcy.

“Being a part of The Eleanor R. Cristol and Judge A. Jay Cristol Bankruptcy Pro Bono Assistance Clinic was an extremely rewarding and gratifying experience," said 3L Josh Morgan. "I have always been entrepreneurial and interested in business law, and seeing the other side of things was truly an eye opener for me. It was uplifting and personally satisfying to help low-income clients in need from Put Something Back find a fresh start. Their staff were professional and easy to work with whenever we needed anything.”

The students were also able to help a long-time client of the clinic to help plan for and file an individual Chapter 11 case. The strategy resulted from several of diligent efforts on the part of past and current clinic students.

Along with servicing needy, underserved clients in Miami-Dade, the Clinic’s director, Patricia Redmond, J.D. ’79, was host of a panel through Dade Legal Aid, which included Honorable A. Jay Cristol, Honorable Robert A. Mark, Former Judge Eugene R. Wedoff, Scott Brown, Michael Frank, Laila Gonzalez, and James Schwitalla talking about important topics such as consumer law and dischargeability of student loans, among others.

The clinic hopes to grow in the coming years to serve its community, as well as the students of the University of Miami in their path to excellence and service in the legal community.