Join us in honoring Frank Dineen’s legacy as a lawyer, mentor, and friend. At the time of his death in 2019, Frank was the longest-serving legal services attorney in the country. Frank embodied everything that was good about the legal profession. Throughout his career, he mentored countless law students and young lawyers. He modeled compassion and dedication to people living in poverty. Help us continue to do the work Frank was so proud of.

March 30, 2020

Dear members of the Yale Law School community,

For many years, New Haven Legal Assistance Association (LAA) has provided legal services to poor people in the New Haven community of which Yale Law School is a part. LAA is the primary legal services provider in the greater New Haven area, and it embodies the commitment to justice that is so embedded in the scholarship at the law school.  LAA provides legal representation in the areas of housing, income stability, immigration, child law, and domestic violence. It also addresses systemic issues, such as the recent class action against the City of New Haven for the under enforcement of lead paint prevention. Our work is important now more than ever. The current COVID-19 health crisis is impacting the lives of low-income individuals as they try and navigate the unemployment compensation process, continue to receive income from state and federal benefit programs, maintain a safe and secure home, access health care, among many other issues.

As you may know, Frank Dineen, LAA’s Senior Counsel, supervised hundreds of students in the Jerome Frank Clinic, inspiring many to channel their commitment to justice to those most in need of their help. Sadly, Frank passed away last fall, and as a way to honor his legacy, the LAA’s Board of Directors has formed the Francis X. Dineen Society in his honor.

Members of the Society will contribute a minimum of $1,000 per year to LAA.  As board members, we are signing on as inaugural members of the Society, and we urge you to confirm your commitment to the community in which you work and live by joining us.

Since 2015, LAA lawyers have supervised YLS students in three clinics, supplementing the legal theory of classroom learning with actual experiences in working with individual clients, appearing in the courts and administrative agencies. These clinics concentrate on the subject areas of immigration, reentry, and family law all of which are responsive to the needs of our community.

LAA’s funding is based on the always uncertain support from IOLTA and a portion of filing fees in the state courts. While local law firms and members of the practicing bar have long supported LAA, we are hoping to increase support from YLS faculty. If you have given to LAA in the past, we thank you for your generosity. If you have yet to give to LAA, we invite you to join in this exciting new giving opportunity.

Warmest Regards,

Hiram Brett, Board Chair
Stuart Warner, Board member
Bev Hodgson ’76, Board Member
Angela Robinson, ’89, Board member
Sister Mary Ellen Burns, ’89, Board member
Michael Caldwell, ’03, Board member

Join The Francis X. Dineen Society