Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic.

Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic

Our Mission: Because recovery goes beyond disaster relief, #UBLawResponds provides practical legal research and thoughtful pro bono service, through an ongoing collaborative partnership with the people of Puerto Rico.

Nuestra Misión: Debido a que el camino a la restauración es mucho más que la reparación de los efectos de un desastre natural, la misión de la clínica legal de la Universidad del Estado de Nueva York es la contribución al proceso de eatribución de pooder para la gente de Puerto Rico. Deseamos ser aliados para proveer servicios de investigación legal gratuita atrevés de solicitudes fáciles y prácticas en colaboración con la comunidad puertorriqueña. #UBLawResponds

Contact Us

Kim Diana Connolly, Co-Director
Jorge Farinacci Fernos, Co-Director
Luis E. Chiesa, Academic Consultant

University at Buffalo, School of Law
507 O'Brian Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
716-645-2167, law-clinic@buffalo.edu

The Clinic Faculty/Staff Our Students In the News

Kim Diana Connolly, Co-Director

Professor Kim Diana Connolly grew up in Massachusetts, and started volunteering at a young age. Following college, she spent a year as a Volunteer in Service to America working on water access and waste disposal across the state of North Carolina, and then founded a new non-profit called the North Carolina Rural Communities Assistance Project to work with those who lacked access to life’s basics. After graduating from law school, she worked in private practice for several years while earning her LL.M. at night and actively engaging in pro bono work. As a law professor, Connolly has focused much of her work on clinical teaching, both to continue her commitment to access to justice work, but to work directly with law students on their path to become active practicing lawyers! She conceived the Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Clinic after Hurricane Maria because it seemed like an important moment to help achieve Clinical Legal Education Program’s mission, which is “delivering access to justice while teaching UB law students to be excellent, ethical, and engaged lawyers.”

photo of Farinacci-Fernós standing in front of a brick building.

Jorge Farinacci Fernos, Co-Director

Jorge Farinacci-Fernós is a tenure-track Associate Professor of Law at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico Law School, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Legal History, Administrative Law, and Legal Writing. He received his J.D. (magna cum laude) from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Law School, where he was awarded the Prizes for Highest Overall GPA and Highest GPA in the area of Public Law. He was also Associate Director of the UPR Law Review. After his JD, he worked as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico for then-Associate Justice Liana Fiol Matta.

He obtained his LL.M. from Harvard Law School and he then his S.J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. His doctorate Dissertation focused on the role of intent and history in the interpretation of modern, post-liberal and teleological constitutions. He has published Articles in the Southwestern Law ReviewHastings International and Comparative Law ReviewTulsa Law ReviewKansas Journal of Law and Public PolicyMontana Law ReviewBarry Law Review, Vienna Journal of International Constitutional Law, among others, mostly about constitutional law issues. In 2020, he became the first recipient of the Association of American Law School’s “Mark Tushnet” Prize in Comparative Law for his Article “Post-Liberal Constitutionalism” and also received the Puerto Rican Bar Association’s “Best Legal Work” Prize for his book “Hermenéutica Puertorriqueña: Cánones de Interpretación Jurídica”, which focuses on the interpretation of legal texts. His most recent book is a detailed, first-impression analysis of the Puerto Rican Bill of Rights. An English-language book analyzing Puerto Rico’s constitutional project through the lenses of democracy, colonialism, and progressive transformation will be published soon.

Octavio Villegas '15, Volunteer Staff Attorney

Dan Piersa, Volunteer Staff Attorney