NYLS Expands Social Justice Mission

Swati Parikh, New York Law School’s first executive director of public service and pro bono initiatives.

Swati Parikh, New York Law School’s first executive director of public service and pro bono initiatives.

By David Brand

New York Law School is expanding its public service focus through its new Office of Public Service and Pro Bono Initiatives.

The office will serve as a comprehensive resource for NYLS students who want to pursue public interest-focused academic and career advising. Public intereste career advisor Swati Parikh will serve as the office’s inaugural executive director.

“It’s exciting to be honored for work that’s important to me,” Parikh said in a statement. “I’ve been involved in legal services and pro bono since I graduated from law school.”

NYLS Dean Anthony W. Crowell praised Parikh’s leadership in the field of public interest law.

“Swati has dedicated her entire career to helping government and public interest lawyers advocate for vulnerable people in need, alleviate poverty, and promote justice,” Crowell said. “Due to her understanding of how complex systems work and her unwavering commitment, dedication, and skill, she has helped our graduates launch meaningful careers at government agencies and nonprofit advocacy organizations. Swati’s work directly contributes to our school’s mission and I couldn’t be prouder of her well-deserved recognition.”

Parikh will also manage operations of the school’s Impact Center for Public Interest Law, one of six academic centers, and the new Social Justice Organization Incubator. The incubator is a physical space inside the Tribeca campus that will contain her new office, the Impact Center and various nonprofit organizations.

NYLS will also provide more space for the Safe Passage Project, which represents unaccompanied immigrant children in immigration court. The nonprofit was founded by NYLS Professor Lenni Benson.

"With these initiatives, New York Law School is reaffirming its commitment to bold and powerful public interest work," Crowell said. “If you’re a student who aspires to join the thousands of NYLS alumni leading in areas like family law, immigration law, education law, civil rights, racial justice, or government, there is no better place than our one-stop hub, here in the center of lower Manhattan.”