FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Fred P. Rooney

Touro Law Center
Director, International Justice Center for Postgraduate Development
Central Islip, NY, USA

Fred Rooney, Director
Touro Law Center’s International Justice Center for Post-Graduate Development

Fred Rooney has been credited with creating a law school-based incubator model for justice and for being a catalyst in the transformation of legal education in the US.  The powerful incubator and post-graduate movement he began in legal education in 2007 is forcing law schools to rethink their responsibility to graduates and to the plight of millions of individuals in the US who, for reasons of economics, lack access to justice.  His work is innovative and entrepreneurial and  is impacting on thousands of people in the US and abroad.

In June 2013, Fred completed a 10-month Fulbright in the Dominican Republic where he launched the first post-graduate legal initiative outside in the Caribbean and last month, the American Bar Journal named Fred a "2013 Legal Rebel" and recognized as "'the Father of Incubators." Today, he serves as the director of Touro Law Center’s International Justice Center for Post-Graduate Development.  Additionally, he was recently designed a Fulbright Specialist.

Fred earned his J.D. from the City University of New York’s School of Law in 1986.  In 1998 he returned to CUNY to direct a “unique public/private partnership” that offered a network of support and resources for CUNY Law School grads in small community-based practices who are working to increase access to justice throughout New York City. The New York Law Journal, New York Times, Legal Times and American Bar Association Journal have highlighted Fred’s successes and  law schools across the US have been studying Fred’s work when designing their own network of community-based practitioners.

Beyond multi-faceted support for CLRN’s several hundred attorney members, Fred has developed two unique and successful projects – the Incubator for Justice and the LaunchPad for Justice.  The Incubator, a first of its kind support system for fledgling lawyers, has been used as a model for law schools and bar associations across the US that are creating post-graduate programs for their graduates.  CLRN’s innovative LaunchPad for Justice project, incorporating the work of recent law school graduates to represent some of the 99% of unrepresented tenants in New York City Housing Courts, has been widely applauded.

In January 2010, Fred was awarded the 2010 Father Robert Drinan Award by the American Association of Law School’s (AALS) and on February 5, 2010, he accepted the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services’ 2010 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access, which was awarded to CLRN. The Brown Award recognizes innovative programs that meet the legal needs of those who do not qualify for legal aid yet still aren't able to afford typical legal fees.

On February 5, 2014, Fred was added to the Fulbright Specialist Roster by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES).


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