St. John’s School of Law features 10 clinics and 11 centers that enable students to apply their legal education. // Photo courtesy of SJU Law

St. John’s Clinics Open Doors For a New Class of Students

As another semester begins at the St. John’s School of Law, second and third-year students to apply their legal training through the school’s various legal clinics.

There are currently 10 in-house and partner clinics at St. John’s Law, including the Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic. The school also hosts 11 academic centers, including the Public Interest Center.

School of Law spokesperson Lori Herz said the experience that students gain in the clinics and centers often “seals the deal” for those considering careers in public interest law.

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Hon. Joseph A. Zayas // Photo Courtesy of NYS-UCS

‘Varied Experiences’ Help Hon. Zayas Thrive In Different Worlds

Over a span of a few decades, Hon. Joseph A. Zayas ascended from the park benches outside his childhood public housing complex to the bench inside Queens’ highest criminal court.

Though his path from the projects to the judge’s chambers are not typical, his experiences have enabled him to thrive in various settings and given him a unique perspective that he says reflects the importance of empathy.

“Empathy is the characteristic of a judge that is most important, but people confuse it with sympathy,” Zayas said. “They think you’re going to sympathize with the David in every David and Goliath story but that’s not what empathy is. Empathy means that you’re going to put yourself in the shoes of the litigant before you — that may be a cop, it may be a victim.”

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In April, a swastika was painted on a rock in Powell’s Cove in College Point. // Photo Courtesy Mirjana Karcic

Twister-Ravaged Park Is Site of Swastika, Noose & Dangerous Conditions

Mirjana Karcic, a College Point resident, walks her dog through deteriorating Powell’s Cove every morning, but on Thursday, Aug. 3 the park looked even worse than usual.

“It was like a disaster, like a war zone,” Karcic said.  

Decade-old trees lay splintered in the path, smashed to bits, and pieces of homes and trash were scattered throughout the trees. The devastation prompted Karcic to share the conditions of the park, which she has been documenting for months, with the Queens Daily Eagle.

Her photos reveal racist graffiti, including a swastika spray painted on a rock, and a medical waste container discarded next to a garbage can.

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The Queensbridge Houses, a NYCHA development in Long Island City//Metro Centric

Queensbridge Raid Nets 22 — Including 3 for Weed Possession

A year-long investigation concluded Wednesday with the arrest of 22 people inside the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, including 3 for low-level marijuana possession.

The Queens District Attorney’s office announced the bust in a press release Thursday morning, which listed the names and charges for the 22 people arrested.

Of the 22 defendants, one was charged with criminal possession of a firearm and another with possession of an undisclosed weapon. Nine are charged with 7th-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance — the lowest-level criminal drug possession charge —and three are charged with marijuana possession.

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LLAQC President Catalina Cruz is running for the Democratic nomination for Assembly District 39. // Photo Courtesy of Catalina Cruz

Latino Lawyers President Fights For Representation 

By David Brand As an attorney for the Goddard Riverside SRO Law Project, many of Catalina Cruz’s first clients came

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