Widener Law will unveil its new public service wing in an upcoming ribbon cutting and open house on the Delaware campus, which will include Gov. Jack Markell as the featured speaker.
Everyone is welcome to attend the event on Monday, Sept. 21 at 4 p.
m. that will mark the official opening of the wing in the Main Law Building. It has been under renovation and construction since March. The 10,000 square-foot-space houses the five Delaware-campus-based clinical programs
, Widener’s Public Interest Resource Center
, the Legal Help Link call center and the Delaware Volunteer Legal Services offices. The space contains a classroom outfitted as a courtroom with the technological capacity to video-conference to any destination in high definition. The classroom has its own closed-circuit television system for recording and playback critiquing, which provides students with an additional resource as they practice legal arguments and witness examination on cases that are headed to court.
The wing was the vision of Law DeanLinda L. Ammons
, who wanted to move all the offices from cramped spaces around campus and put them under one roof with ample square footage and a professional appearance. In March, a planned series of office moves opened up the full wing of space, which has since been refurbished to house the programs.
“Experiential learning and public service are the hallmark of a Widener education,” Ammons said. “The programs housed in this wing provide a huge community resource and we are tremendously proud of the work our students do through them. They are getting a polished, professional space befitting the work they do in what is nothing short of a public-service law firm.”
Widener’s law clinics allow students to represent clients under the supervision of faculty members who are practicing attorneys. The students receive no pay but do get academic credit. Clients are indigent people or small nonprofits who otherwise could not afford legal representation. This win-win situation provides clients with zealous representation at no cost, while students gain valuable real-world experience. Widener Law clinic students handled nearly 300 cases in 2008, representing more than 17,000 hours of pro bono service. That translates into roughly $2.1 million worth of free legal work.
The dedication event will draw remarks from Ammons, Markell, Delaware Lieutenant Gov. Matt Denn, Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy J. Holland, student Nick Taylor and Veterans Law Clinic
client Michael Urban. Others expected to attend include Widener University Senior Vice President and Provost Jo Allen, members of the law school National Advisory Council, jurists, attorneys, alumni, students and friends.
Widener Law is grateful to the Longwood Foundation for a financial gift that helped make the public-service wing possible.