Unemployment Action Center


Unemployment Action Center (UAC) is a non-profit student-run organization dedicated to the representation of unemployment insurance claimants. UAC has over 400 members at five New York area law schools. Students are trained as advocates to represent people at unemployment insurance hearings, as counselors for hearings, and as writers of appeals briefs. Because our members are directly responsible for advising and representing claimants, the UAC has given thousands of law students exposure to pro bono work and cultivated an interest in public service early in their legal careers.

"Working with UAC provides students with the opportunity to have an impact on a government bureaucracy. You are not just a voice-you are actually getting people benefits." -Omri Flicker, '07, UAC board member and volunteer

The UAC is the largest organization of its type in the country, and the only organization in New York devoted solely to providing legal assistance to people seeking to secure unemployment insurance benefits. In order to prepare advocates to represent claimants in this specialized area, the UAC has developed a comprehensive training program and training manuals which guide new advocates through the intake, interview, and representation process.

Claimants have been awarded benefits in approximately 60% of the cases in which they were represented by a UAC advocate. This is a truly remarkable statistic given the estimated city-wide average success rate of less than 30% for unrepresented claimants.

These figures demonstrate that legal assistance provided by the UAC makes a tremendous difference in the outcome of unemployment proceedings. With the assistance of the UAC, claimants are able to successfully navigate a complex bureaucratic system, and obtain crucial financial support.

The UAC has received numerous honors for its service to the New York community, including the New York State Bar Association President's Pro Bono Law Student Service Award, the New York University President's Service Award for Volunteerism and Community Service and special recognition by the New York University School of Law Public Interest Law Foundation. The UAC's efforts have been featured in The New York Times, The New York Law Journal and New York Newsday.

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The Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) student groups office is located at Room LL-101 of the Law School.