2L Rory Pelella Receives the Volunteer Lawyers Project of CNY Pro Bono Champion Law Student Award

2L Rory Pelella was honored with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of CNY (VLP) Pro Bono Champion Law Student Award at VLP’s recent fundraiser and pro bono celebration.

Pelella spent the past summer working in VLP’s Eviction Defense Program. She represented clients in Syracuse City Court with a student practice order and worked alongside her supervisors to prevent and/or delay evictions for people in need of legal assistance across the community.

“I came to law school because I wanted to correct the injustices I saw all around me,” Pelella said. “But I think every 1L goes through that period where you start to question if you’ve chosen the right path. It wasn’t until I started working with VLP that I realized I was exactly where I needed to be.”

Pelella has continued her work with VLP throughout the Fall semester. She spends her Friday mornings in Syracuse City Court, handling cases until completion and advocating for clients under the supervision of VLP’s attorneys.

Pelella gives a lot of credit for her award and success as a pro bono volunteer to the lawyers she works with. “This is a direct reflection of them,” she said. “The people I’ve met through VLP have taught me so much, more than any textbook I’ve ever read. None of this work is possible without them.”

In addition to volunteering at VLP, Pelella works in the College’s Disability Rights Clinic and serves as a procedural advisor to students at the university.

About the Volunteer Lawyers Project

The Volunteer Lawyers Project of CNY, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit legal aid organization that provides free legal information, assistance, and representation in civil legal matters to low-income people in Central New York. Our services are provided by staff and volunteer attorneys with the help of paralegals and law students.

Services throughout Central New York include legal issues related to housing, family, elder, LGBT* rights, immigration, debt, and economic opportunity.