June 24, 2016
“In the old melting pot streets of the New York’s Lower East Side — at Mobilization for Youth [now MFY]… — the poor are treated not as charity cases but as clients….There may be no busier group of practitioners in the city.”
This 1968 New York Times Magazine article profiled MFY (then known as Mobilization for Youth), with a fascinating as well as dated description of MFY’s zealous advocates, as well as the larger movement to create a national cadre of high-quality lawyers and legal workers for those who could not afford to pay for counsel.
“Some of the judges who are not used to be challenged with briefs and citations and are in the habit of knocking heads together have been forced to crack open the law books for the first time in years. For they know that community lawyers do not stop at the lower courts and often take cases up on appeal.” These words are just as true today as they were in 1968.
Thanks to long-time member Betty Heaton for sharing this article. Click through below to read more about many of the MFY advocates of the time, as well as the New York Times’ shock and amazement that some graduates of top law schools would choose to do this work.